RARA-AVIS: The Falcon makes Fringe

From: Rick Helms (writerrickhelms@aol.com)
Date: 05 Nov 2010

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    Don't know if anyone caught FRINGE on Fox last night, but there was an interesting reference. The storyline for the last two seasons has involved parallel universes which can be 'visited' by one of the characters. In the 'other' world, the World Trade Center towers still stand, the Statue of Liberty is made of brilliant copper, and technology has taken some different turns that it has here. Everything is just a little out of kilter--for instance, in one scene it shows a movie theater showing a retrospective of BACK TO THE FUTURE, starring Eric Stoltz.

    Anyway, last night, one of the characters tossed off a quick aside, quote: "As Cary Grant said, 'The stuff that dreams are made of'' "

    Apparently, in the alternate universe, Cary Grant played Sam Spade in THE MALTESE FALCON instead of Humphrey Bogart.

    I can't find any historical indication that Grant was considered for the Bogart role, but I could possibly see it, if only because he has a lot of similar qualities to Ricardo Cortez, who had played the role several years earlier. Hard to imagine the John Huston version without Bogie, but stranger things have happened in Hollywood.

    Also, I have found at least one reference indicating that Chandler always wanted Cary Grant to play Philip Marlowe. I can see it, given Chandler's own continental upbringing. He might have seen some of the urbane (and occasionally substance abusing) Grant in himself. Grant in THE BIG SLEEP might actually have been better than Bogie's re-enactment of Sam Spade. Or is that heresy? R

    Richard Helms SIX MILE CREEK,a Judd Wheeler novel, from Five Star Mysteries

    THUNDER MOON, coming in June 2011! www.richardhelms.net

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