Raymond Chandler’s iconic private detective fictional character Philip Marlowe is once again being portrayed on the screen.
Irish actor Liam Neeson is portraying Marlowe this time, following Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum, Dick Powell, Robert Montgomery, Powers Booth, James Garner and other fine actors over the years. (Chandler wanted Cary Grant to portray Marlowe).
By all accounts, the new film, called Marlowe, is tanking, possibly because the film is not based on a Chandler novel. Instead, the film is based on the 2014 novel The Black-Eyed Blonde by British author John Banville, using the pen name Benjamin Black. The film may also be unsuccessful becomes Neeson is not the right actor for the role.
The new film is not to be confused with 1969’s Marlowe, which starred the late James Garner as Marlowe and was based on Raymond Chandler’s great crime novel, The Little Sister. The film is a favorite of mine, and James Garner is my favorite film Marlowe. He was big, handsome and smoked a pipe like Marlowe in the novels. He was also very good at “cracking wise” like Chandler’s Marlowe.
I’ve been a Raymond Chandler aficionado since I was a teenager. I’ve read and reread all of his novels, short stories and letters. Back in 2018, I reviewed The Annotated Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler for the Washington Times.
You can read the review via the below link or the below text:
THE ANNOTATED BIG SLEEP
“Raymond Chandler once wrote that ‘some literary antiquarian of a rather special type may one day think it worthwhile to run through the files of the pulp detective magazines’ to watch as ‘the popular mystery story shed its refined good manners and went native,’” the editors of “The Annotated Big Sleep” write in their introduction of the late, great Raymond Chandler’s classic crime novel.
"He might have said, as the genre of detective fiction kicked out the Britishism and became American. A chief agent of this transformation was Raymond Chandler himself. "The Big Sleep" was Chandler's first novel, and it introduced the world to Philip Marlowe, the archetypal wisecracking, world-weary private detective who now occupies a permanent place in the American imagination."