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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Philip Marlowe, Private DetectiveMarch 17 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Long a favorite. Seems like only hardcore fans of modern noir have known about this lost HBO adaptation of Raymond Chandler's private detective - Philip Marlowe.
"Lost" because HBO is infamous for not making their products readily available in the U.S. marketplace. I understand they have legal/licensing issues to contend with, but that just speaks to an unprofessional lack of foresight on Time/Warner's part - again laying the irresponsibility on their business front step.
James Caan picks up the mantle from a long list of Hollywood's noir legends, chief among them - the indelible Humphrey Bogart. Mind you, that short list also includes film luminaries Robert Mitchum, James Garner and the always excellent Powers Booth.
Very enjoyable presentation which has Marlowe finally retiring from the ugly streets of Los Angeles. Having had his fill of death, manipulation, shoot-outs, double and even triple crosses - he's finally found the one girl, the one home, and the one chair where he'll spend his golden years kicking back with a couple of cold beers and a soft beautiful blonde.
It's November 1963 and Poodle Springs is a small northeastern California enclave/retirement community where nothing happens - until a fellow gumshoe ends up dead while talking on the phone with Phil.
And just like its über classic predecessor 'The Big Sleep' - there's more to this than first meets the eye. As Marlowe himself would tell you: Paying attention to details is chapter one in the Private Eye Handbook.
While the entire production is great, my favorite scene takes place when his new bride Laura, played by Dina Meyer, tells him that she thinks that both he and her father should like one another since they're both from the same generation. :-D Not quite cradle-robbing, but she's definitely not going to be claiming Social Security benefits at the same time as Phil.
Fun stuff if you're into the Old School detective mystery/dramas. I am, so I had a blast!
One warning. If you're a pet lover - something horrific happens to a beloved family member, so be wary when the scene comes up (25:00 into the film). If it's any consolation, Marlowe takes revenge on the piece-of-turd who did it.
Finally, the most cost effective way to watch this great flick is via the UK/British branch of Amazon. Their Region 2 disc should play with little or no effort on your part since most computers, dvd players and digital systems are made to convert to Region "0" - or region-free. Otherwise, you'll be stuck dealing with the U.S. sellers who, as you can see from this page, consider this disc a collectible - and sellers demand collectible prices.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
At one stage we see an advertisement on the side of a bus for From Russia with Love, released in the US in May 1964June 26 2015
- Published on Amazon.com
Here is a film that had to be made for Raymond Chandler completists: an adaptation of Chandler's last, unfinished novel. in reality, it is barely Chandler's work at all: of the 41 chapters in the novel, 37 come from Robert B. Parker. In the film, we are at two removes from Chandler himself, because it is now Parker's work as interpreted by Tom Stoppard.
The story is the usual Chandler brew of a wealthy family, a wayward daughter, drugs, pornography and gangsters, all wrapped up in a labyrinthine plot that's all but impossible to follow. Those determined to know who did what will probably have to view it a couple of times, perhaps with some going back to key scenes, to work it out. Stoppard has taken some liberties, most of the action in the film taking place in Los Angeles, not Poodle Springs [a thinly disguised Palm Springs]. The bigamous 'Les Valentine' becomes 'Charles Nichols' here, although retaining his other assumed name 'Larry Victor'. The action here appears to be located in the year 1964, not 1963, as IMDb have it. (The USA Today review cited on the back cover also proclaims it to be 1963). At one stage we see an advertisement on the side of a bus for From Russia with Love, released in the US in May 1964. Dialogue also refers to an upcoming presidential election.
James Caan makes for an appealing rendition of an older Philip Marlowe, taking over from James Garner, Robert Montgomery, George Montgomery, Elliott Gould, Robert Mitchum, Humphrey Bogart and Dick Powell who have played Marlowe before him. It's a film that will appeal to Chandler fans and fans of the 'hardboiled detective' genre.
One disappointment. This DVD was released in 1998, in an aspect ratio of 4:3, a format that suited the square TV sets of the time. My oblong flat screen TV displayed it as 16:9, making the actors look vertically squashed. I could not find an option either on the TV (Sony Bravia) or on the DVD player (Panasonic) to make the film display correctly.