Philip Marlowe

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Philip Marlowe
Philip Marlowe character
Bogart and Bacall The Big Sleep.jpg
Humphrey Bogart as Marlowe, with Lauren Bacall as Vivian Rutledge in The Big Sleep
First appearance"Finger Man" (short story)
The Big Sleep (novel)
Last appearance"The Pencil" (short story)
Poodle Springs (unfinished novel, completed by Robert B. Parker
Created by Raymond Chandler
Portrayed by
In-universe information
GenderMale
OccupationPrivate detective
NationalityAmerican

Philip Marlowe ( /ˈmɑːrl/ ) is a fictional character created by Raymond Chandler, and exemplifying the hardboiled crime fiction genre. Marlowe first appeared under that name in The Big Sleep , published in 1939. Chandler's early short stories, published in pulp magazines such as Black Mask and Dime Detective, featured similar characters with names like "Carmady" and "John Dalmas" starting in 1933.

Contents

Some of those short stories were later combined and expanded into novels featuring Marlowe, a process Chandler called "cannibalizing", which is more commonly known in publishing as a fix-up. When the original stories were republished years later in the short-story collection The Simple Art of Murder , Chandler did not change the names of the protagonists to Philip Marlowe. His first two stories, "Blackmailers Don't Shoot" and "Smart-Aleck Kill" (with a detective named Mallory), were never altered in print, but did join the others as Marlowe cases for the television series Philip Marlowe, Private Eye .

The hardboiled crime fiction genre originated in the 1920s, notably in Black Mask magazine, in which Dashiell Hammett's The Continental Op and Sam Spade first appeared.

Underneath the wisecracking, hard-drinking, tough private eye, Marlowe is quietly contemplative and philosophical and enjoys chess and poetry. While he is not afraid to risk physical harm, he does not dish out violence merely to settle scores. Morally upright, he is not fooled by the genre's usual femmes fatales , such as Carmen Sternwood in The Big Sleep.

Chandler's treatment of the detective novel exhibits an effort to develop the form. His first full-length book, The Big Sleep, was published when Chandler was 51; his last, Playback was when he was 70. Seven novels were produced in the last two decades of his life. An eighth, Poodle Springs , was completed posthumously by Robert B. Parker and published years later.

Inspiration

Explaining the origin of Marlowe's character, Chandler commented, "Marlowe just grew out of the pulps. He was no one person." [1] When creating the character, Chandler had originally intended to call him Mallory; his stories for the 'Black Mask featured characters that are considered precursors to Marlowe. The emergence of Marlowe coincided with Chandler's transition from writing short stories to novels. [1]

Chandler was said [2] to have taken the name Marlowe from Marlowe House, to which he belonged during his time at Dulwich College. Marlowe House was named for Christopher Marlowe, a hard-drinking Elizabethan writer who graduated in philosophy and worked secretly for the government.

Biographical notes

Ed Bishop had the title role in BBC Radio's Philip Marlowe radio drama series. Bbcmarlowe.jpg
Ed Bishop had the title role in BBC Radio's Philip Marlowe radio drama series.

Philip Marlowe is a fictional character created by Raymond Chandler in a series of novels including The Big Sleep, Farewell, My Lovely , and The Long Goodbye . Chandler is not consistent as to Marlowe's age. In The Big Sleep, set in 1936, Marlowe's age is given as 33, while in The Long Goodbye (set 14 years later), Marlowe is 42. In a letter to D. J. Ibberson of April 19, 1951, Chandler noted among other things that Marlowe is 38 years old and was born in Santa Rosa, California. He had a couple of years at college and some experience as an investigator for an insurance company and the district attorney's office of Los Angeles County. He was fired from the DA's office for insubordination (or as Marlowe put it, "talking back"). The DA's chief investigator, Bernie Ohls, is a friend and former colleague and a source of information for Marlowe within law enforcement.

Marlowe just falls short of the classic six foot, two: seventy-three and a half inches (187 cm) tall. He weighs about 190 lb (86 kg). He first lived at the Hobart Arms, on Franklin Avenue near North Kenmore Avenue (in The Big Sleep), but then moved to the Bristol Hotel, where he stayed for about 10 years. By 1950 (in The Long Goodbye) he has rented a house on Yucca Avenue and continued at the same place in early 1952 in Playback , Chandler's last full-length Marlowe novel.

His office, originally on the seventh floor of an unnamed building in 1936, is at #615 on the sixth floor of the Cahuenga Building by March/April 1939 (the date of Farewell, My Lovely), which is on Hollywood Boulevard near Ivar. North Ivar Avenue is between North Cahuenga Boulevard to the west and Vine Street to the east. The office telephone number is GLenview 7537. Marlowe's office is modest and he does not have a secretary (unlike Sam Spade). He generally refuses to take divorce cases.

He drinks whiskey or brandy frequently and in relatively large quantities. For example, in The High Window , he gets out a bottle of Four Roses, and pours glasses for himself, for Det. Lt. Breeze, and for Spangler. At other times, he is drinking Old Forester, a Kentucky bourbon: "I hung up and fed myself a slug of Old Forester to brace my nerves for the interview. As I was inhaling it I heard her steps tripping along the corridor." ( The Little Sister ) However, in Playback he orders a double Gibson at a bar while tailing Betty Mayfield. Also, in The Long Goodbye, Terry Lennox and he drink Gimlets.

Marlowe is adept at using liquor to loosen peoples' tongues. An example is in The High Window, when Marlowe finally persuades the detective-lieutenant, whose "solid old face was lined and grey with fatigue", to take a drink: "Breeze looked at me very steadily. Then he sighed. Then he picked the glass up and tasted it and sighed again and shook his head sideways with a half smile; the way a man does when you give him a drink and he needs it very badly and it is just right and the first swallow is like a peek into a cleaner, sunnier, brighter world."

He frequently drinks coffee. Eschewing the use of filters (see Farewell My Lovely), he uses a vacuum coffee maker (see The Long Goodbye, chapter 5). He smokes and prefers Camel cigarettes. At home, he sometimes smokes a pipe. A chess adept, he almost exclusively plays against himself, or plays games from books.

Typical of classic private eyes, Marlowe is the eternal bachelor in all of the novels, but in the opening paragraphs of Poodle Springs he has just married Linda Loring, the divorced daughter of press tycoon Harlan Potter. He knows her from The Long Goodbye, where they spent one night together, and from Playback]', where she, after one and a half years, surprisingly called him from Paris and proposed to him ("I'm asking you to marry me.").

Marlowe bibliography

Original short stories by Raymond Chandler

Original Philip Marlowe works by Raymond Chandler

Authorized works by other writers

Marlowe, as he appeared in volume 9 of Detective Conan Philip Marlowe in Case Closed.jpg
Marlowe, as he appeared in volume 9 of Detective Conan

Film adaptations

Trailer for Lady in the Lake (1947)

Radio and television adaptations

Gerald Mohr in the CBS Radio series The Adventures of Philip Marlowe (1948-1951) Gerald Mohr 1951.JPG
Gerald Mohr in the CBS Radio series The Adventures of Philip Marlowe (1948–1951)

Theater adaptations

Marlowe has appeared on stage at least twice. An adaptation of The Little Sister in 1978 in Chicago starred Mike Genovese as Marlowe. [5] In 1982, Richard Maher and Roger Michell wrote Private Dick, in which Chandler has lost the manuscript for a novel, and calls in Marlowe to help find it. The production played in London, with Robert Powell as Marlowe. [5]

Video game adaptations

References in other works

See also

Related Research Articles

Raymond Chandler American novelist and screenwriter

Raymond Thornton Chandler was an American-British novelist and screenwriter. In 1932, at the age of forty-four, Chandler became a detective fiction writer after losing his job as an oil company executive during the Great Depression. His first short story, "Blackmailers Don't Shoot", was published in 1933 in Black Mask, a popular pulp magazine. His first novel, The Big Sleep, was published in 1939. In addition to his short stories, Chandler published seven novels during his lifetime. All but Playback have been made into motion pictures, some more than once. In the year before his death, he was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America.

<i>The Big Sleep</i> 1939 novel by Raymond Chandler

The Big Sleep (1939) is a hardboiled crime novel by American-British writer Raymond Chandler, the first to feature the detective Philip Marlowe. It has been adapted for film twice, in 1946 and again in 1978. The story is set in Los Angeles.

<i>Farewell, My Lovely</i> 1940 novel by Raymond Chandler

Farewell, My Lovely is a novel by Raymond Chandler, published in 1940, the second novel he wrote featuring the Los Angeles private eye Philip Marlowe. It was adapted for the screen three times and was also adapted for the stage and radio.

<i>The Long Goodbye</i> (novel) 1953 novel by Raymond Chandler

The Long Goodbye is a novel by Raymond Chandler, published in 1953, his sixth novel featuring the private investigator Philip Marlowe. Some critics consider it inferior to The Big Sleep or Farewell, My Lovely, but others rank it as the best of his work. Chandler, in a letter to a friend, called the novel "my best book".

Mystery film Sub-genre of crime film

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<i>Murder, My Sweet</i> 1944 film directed by Edward Dmytryk

Murder, My Sweet is a 1944 American film noir, directed by Edward Dmytryk and starring Dick Powell, Claire Trevor and Anne Shirley. The film is based on Raymond Chandler's 1940 novel Farewell, My Lovely. It was the first film to feature Chandler's primary character, the hard-boiled private detective Philip Marlowe.

<i>The Lady in the Lake</i> Novel by Raymond Chandler

The Lady in the Lake is a 1943 detective novel by Raymond Chandler featuring the Los Angeles private investigator Philip Marlowe. Notable for its removal of Marlowe from his usual Los Angeles environs for much of the book, the novel's complicated plot initially deals with the case of a missing woman in a small mountain town some 80 miles (130 km) from the city. The book was written shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor and makes several references to America's recent involvement in World War II.

<i>Playback</i> (novel) Novel by Raymond Chandler

Playback is a novel by Raymond Chandler featuring the private detective Philip Marlowe. It was first published in Britain in July 1958; the US edition followed in October that year. Chandler died the following year; Playback is his last completed novel.

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<i>The Brasher Doubloon</i> 1947 film by John Brahm

The Brasher Doubloon is a 1947 American crime film noir directed by John Brahm and starring George Montgomery and Nancy Guild.

<i>The Long Goodbye</i> (film) 1973 film by Robert Altman

The Long Goodbye is a 1973 American neo-noir thriller film directed by Robert Altman and based on Raymond Chandler's 1953 novel. The screenplay was written by Leigh Brackett, who co-wrote the screenplay for Chandler's The Big Sleep in 1946. The film stars Elliott Gould as Philip Marlowe and features Sterling Hayden, Nina Van Pallandt, Jim Bouton, Mark Rydell and an early uncredited appearance by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

<i>Poodle Springs</i> 1989 novel by Raymond Chandler

Poodle Springs is the eighth Philip Marlowe novel. It was started in 1958 by Raymond Chandler, who left it unfinished at his death in 1959. The four chapters he had completed, which bore the working title The Poodle Springs Story, were subsequently published in Raymond Chandler Speaking (1962), a collection of excerpts from letters and unpublished writings. In 1988, on the occasion of the centenary of Chandler's birth, the crime writer Robert B. Parker was asked by the estate of Raymond Chandler to complete the novel.

<i>Killer in the Rain</i> Book by Raymond Chandler

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<i>Farewell, My Lovely</i> (1975 film) 1975 film by Dick Richards

Farewell, My Lovely is a 1975 American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Dick Richards and featuring Robert Mitchum as private detective Philip Marlowe. The picture is based on Raymond Chandler's novel Farewell, My Lovely (1940), which had previously been adapted for film as Murder, My Sweet in 1944. The film also stars Charlotte Rampling, John Ireland, Jack O'Halloran, Sylvia Miles and Harry Dean Stanton, with an early screen appearance by Sylvester Stallone. Mitchum returned to the role of Marlowe three years later in the 1978 film The Big Sleep, making him the only actor to portray Philip Marlowe more than once on the big screen.

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Time to Kill is an American mystery film directed by Herbert I. Leeds. It is the first screen adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel The High Window, which was remade five years later as The Brasher Doubloon. The detective was changed from Philip Marlowe to Michael Shayne for this version, with Lloyd Nolan playing the part and Heather Angel in a rare turn as leading lady.

<i>The Falcon Takes Over</i> 1942 film by Irving Reis

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Raymond Chandler bibliography Wikipedia bibliography

Raymond Chandler (1888–1959) was an American-British novelist and screenwriter. He was born in Chicago, Illinois and lived in the US until he was seven, when his parents separated and his Anglo-Irish mother brought him to live near London; he was educated at Dulwich College from 1900. After working briefly for the British Civil Service, he became a part-time teacher at Dulwich, supplementing his income as a journalist and writer—mostly for The Westminster Gazette and The Academy. His output—consisting largely of poems and essays—was not to his taste, and his biographer Paul Bishop considers the work as "lifeless", while Contemporary Authors describes it as "lofty in subject and mawkish in tone". Chandler returned to the US in 1912 where he trained to become an accountant in Los Angeles. In 1917 he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, saw combat in the trenches in France where he was wounded, and was undergoing flight training in the fledgling Royal Air Force when the war ended.

<i>Perchance to Dream</i> (novel)

Perchance to Dream is a detective crime novel by Robert B. Parker, written as an authorized sequel to The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. Following his post-mortem collaboration with Chandler on Poodle Springs, this 1991 release is the second and final Philip Marlowe novel written by Parker.

<i>The Adventures of Philip Marlowe</i>

The Adventures of Philip Marlowe was a radio series featuring Raymond Chandler's private eye, Philip Marlowe. Robert C. Reinehr and Jon D. Swartz, in their book, The A to Z of Old Time Radio, noted that the program differed from most others in its genre: "It was a more hard-boiled program than many of the other private detective shows of the time, containing few quips or quaint characters."

References

  1. 1 2 Lid, R. W. (1969), "Philip Marlowe Speaking", The Kenyon Review, Kenyon College, 31 (2): 153–178, JSTOR   4334891
  2. "Who Was Who in Dulwich: Raymond Chandler". The Dulwich Society. 1 August 2008. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  3. "Banville to bring back Chandler | the Bookseller".
  4. Philip Marlowe, Private Eye at IMDb
  5. 1 2 1932-, Lachman, Marvin (2014). The villainous stage : crime plays on Broadway and in the West End. McFarland. ISBN   978-0-7864-9534-4. OCLC   903807427.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)

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