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Marlowe

USA 1969
produced by
Gabriel Katzka, Sidney Beckerman for Katzka-Berne Productions, Cherokee Productions, Beckerman Productions
directed by Paul Bogart
starring James Garner, Gayle Hunnicutt, Carroll O'Connor, Rita Moreno, Sharon Farrell, William Daniels, Jackie Coogan, H.M. Wynant, Paul Stevens, Bruce Lee, Corinne Camacho, Kenneth Toby, Warren Finnerty, George Tyne, Nate Esformes, Christopher Cary, Read Morgan, Roger Newman
screenplay by Stirling Silliphant, based on the novel The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler, music by Peter Matz

Philip Marlowe

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Philip Marlowe (James Garner) is hired by country girl Orfamy Quest (Sharon Farrell) to find her brother Orrin (Roger Newman), who apparently has fallen in with the wrong crowd - a case Marlowe tries to wiggle out of after he stumbles over two dead bodies somehow connected to the case, both with ice pick sticking in their necks. However it seems the case has a pull of its own and won't let Marlowe go, and soon the story is about a TV starm Mavis Wald (Gayle Hunnicutt) who has an affair with gangster Steelgrave (H.M. Wynant), something that if publicly known would ruin her career - and unfortunately, Wald's own brother has taken photos of two of them together rather intimately, and is trying to blackmail her. And this brother turns out to be the missing Orrin, who eventually attacks Marlowe with an icepick, and the way he tries to kill him suggests he's actually the icepick killer. Marlowe kills Orrin in pure self defense, and then goes on to solve the case, with the main baddie of the film being Dolores (Rita Moreno), Mavis's best friend who tried to get back at her for stealing her man, Steelgrave.

Jackie Coogan plays a low-rent photographer who falls victim to the icepick early on in the film, Bruce Lee Steelgrave's kung fu-savvy henchman whom Marlowe disposes of by tricking him into jumping off the balcony of a high rise.

 

Now as is often the case with Raymond Chandler adaptations (and really Chandler's novels to begin with), the plot of this movie is very confusing, more than a bit muddled, and doesn't always make perfect sense. Films like Murder, My Sweet and The Big Sleep prove that this can still result in a great movie, Marlowe - not so much so. Now that's not to say that Marlowe's not still pretty entertaining, but it's much more on the silly side, and the film's occasional attempts at late 1960s hipness are somewhat endearing, while in other parts the direction is little more than functional. That said, James Garner makes a cool Philip Marlowe, maybe not on par with Dick Powell or Humphrey Bogart, but he carries the film rather well still.

 

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD