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Marlowe (1969) DVD

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Marlowe (1969)


 Paul Bogart


 Raymond Chandler (novel), Stirling Silliphant(screenplay)


 James Garner, Gayle Hunnicutt, Carroll O'Connor, Rita Moreno, Sharon Farrell, William Daniels, Jackie Coogan, Bruce Lee
James Garner is so good as Raymond Chandler's philosophical gumshoe Philip Marlowe that you forget he's totally wrong for the part. Based on Chandler's The Little Sister, Marlowe involves the detective's efforts to locate the missing brother of Orfamay Quest (Sharon Farrell). He follows the clues to two men who deny any knowledge of the brother's existence. Since both men soon find themselves on the wrong end of an ice pick, Marlowe deduces that there's more to this caper than a mere missing-person case. The plot thickens as more "dramatis personae" are added to the intrigues, including TV star Gayle Hunnicutt, Hunnicutt's gangster boyfriend H.M. Wynant and stripper Rita Moreno. A pre-stardom Bruce Lee shows up as a karate-happy thug who lays waste to Marlowe's office shortly before suffering a spectacular demise.  This is one of only two movies that Bruce Lee did where he speaks with his own natural voice. The other is Enter the Dragon (1973). This is also the only film in which Lee played a villain.
In the nightclub scene, Marlowe (James Garner) takes a sip of wine and smirking, judges it to be; "impertinent. . .even baroque." These were the exact words which a character in Gore Vidal's Myra Breckinridge (published a year earlier) had used to describe Garner's butt in an excerpt from an obtuse film journal which appeared in the novel. Obviously, an inside joke and from Garner's smarmy delivery of what was otherwise a pointless remark, he was very much in on the gag.
James Garner and Rita Moreno first met and became great friends on this project. She'd later have a recurring role in Garner's The Rockford Files (1974).  The phone number seen in the opening scene in the hotel,555-2368 is the same number seen in the opening credits on "The Rockford Files".
The source novel "The Little Sister" was the first book that Raymond Chandler wrote after having worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood for Paramount Pictures. Chandler's discomfort from his experience dealing with the Hollywood film industry was manifested in the book's storyline.
Filming locations included: Bradbury Building (Los Angeles), Union Station (Los Angeles), The Shores Apartment Building (Santa Monica), Alvarado Hotel (Los Angeles), Los Angeles International Airport, Malibu, Mount Wilson, Largo Strip Club (Los Angeles).
Region 0 (ALL), will play in any DVD player, 96 minutes, Metrocolor, MGM, very good print.

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