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Raymond Chandler

Raymond Chandler Books

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In 1939, his first novel, The Big Sleep, was published. He went on to write six more novels, many of which were made into movies. He also wrote original screenplays, such as Double Indemnity (1944) and Strangers on a Train (1951).

Born out of the tradition of Hammett and James M. Cain, Chandler's work and his protagonist Philip Marlowe stand as one of the landmarks of American literature.

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Lauren Andersen - 03:06pm Nov 5, 1999 PST(#42 of 79)

My favorite Chandler novel is definitely The Long Goodbye-- the prose in it darn near approaches poetry in my opinion.

David Matthews - 07:51pm Nov 6, 1999 PST(#43 of 79)

Harry Lockwood.

As far as I know none of Chandler's work was adapted for the stage. Stage adaptions of novels seemed to have been more common in England than America . Two of the British hard boiled writers (James Hadley Chase and Peter Cheyney) had their work adapted. Probably difficult to find copies now I would think. If you are looking for plays to study, the company of Samuel French is about the largest suppliers of printed plays. They have a web site and offices all over the world.

Lauren Andersen.

I fully agree on "The Long Goodbye". Chandler's finest and most complex novel. It's a pity he had to follow it with "Playback" a very poor novelization of an original screenplay of his.

gregg chamberlain - 08:35pm Nov 6, 1999 PST(#44 of 79)

fear everyone here has the advantage over me of perhaps having read everything chandler ever wrote or seen every movie/show he scripted. haven't but i do agree that the long goodbye is a good book. however, my personal favourite chandler is farewell, my lovely with its tragic irony. i rather liked the tribute episode of the t.v. mike hammer series featuring stacey keach in which shane had a similar job of finding a woman for a con who still loved her even though she treated him like dirt. would anyone out there agree with a suggestion that sara paretsky (v.i. warshawski) is the inheritor of chandler's crown as greatest noir detective writer?

P Marlowe - 03:27pm Nov 7, 1999 PST(#45 of 79)
Glenview 7537 - Hollywood

gregg chamberlain, interesting that you picked up on the bit of plagerism on Hammer. However, they did change it around just enough so that it didn't look like a clear-cut steal. Nice touch George Benson as blind muscian.

However, as to Chandlers' greatest - I will always have to go with The Little Sister. A screen rendering was done with James Garner as Marlowe and of all people Bruce Lee in a minor character role. But it did not do the book justice.

The best film rendering in my book is The Lady in the Lake. I believe Robert Montgomery captured the essence of Chandler's voice-over narration in the books perfectly and it was a stroke of genius to have the camera eye literally become our eyes.

Rik Shepherd. - 03:34pm Nov 7, 1999 PST(#46 of 79)
Never hire a ferret to do a weasel's job

P. Marlowe - I can't agree with you about the Mongomery Lady in the Lake. I found the I-am-a-camera very distancing, and it just reminded incessantly that a camera doesn't work like a human eye, or a human head. Every time he went through a door, Mongomery had to do a smooth 180 degree pan to see what was in the room, and it seemed to me that it made Marlowe appear to be some kind of Lurch-like character : big, slow and dumb.

David Matthews - 06:28pm Nov 7, 1999 PST(#47 of 79)

I liked The Lady In The Lake but Chandler didn't. He said the seeing-eye was "old stuff" which I thought was unfair as I don't believe it had been done for an entire movie before.

Chandler was contracted to write the movie script but bowed out. He wanted to change the story for the movie but the studio wanted him to stay with his original novel. (I've always thought that ironic.)

Steve Fisher finished up with the script credit. Chandler (who could be a sore loser sometimes) hated the script and thought the movie ".. was probably the worst picture ever made". He was even more miffed when the movie became a big success and made a great deal of money.

Hugh Drummond - 07:46am Nov 11, 1999 PST(#48 of 79)
" I have a criminal mind... I see bad in everyone," (Mr. J.G. Reeder)

Well, of course, you have the advantage of seeing more than just 'The Lady In The Lake'. When one is at the mercy of British terrestrial TV, one finds oneself rather limited.


A. J. Mullen - 12:59pm Nov 11, 1999 PST(#49 of 79)

Farewell My Lovely, was a great rendering of Chandler's mean streets. I personally liked Try the Girl, the novelette that appeared in Black Mask in 1937. The street is somehow meaner and the writing funnier than the adaptation when it was combined with The Man Who Liked Dogs, and Mandarin's Jade to make Farewell my Lovely. Killer in the Rain is also better than The Big Sleep.

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