Philip Marlowe

Philip Marlowe is a fictional character created by Raymond Chandler in a series of novels including "The Big Sleep" and "The Long Goodbye". Marlowe first appeared in "The Big Sleep", published in 1939. Marlowe appeared in none of Chandler's early short stories, though many of his early stories were republished years later with the names of the protagonists changed to Philip Marlowe; this change was presumably made with Chandler's approval.

Philip Marlowe's character is foremost within the genre of hardboiled crime fiction that originated in the 1920s, most 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. He 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 bamboozled by the genre's usual femmes fatale, like Carmen Sternwood in "The Big Sleep". As Chandler wrote about his detective ideal in general, "I think he might seduce a duchess, and I am quite sure he would not spoil a virgin."

Chandler's treatment of the detective novel exhibits a continuing effort to develop the art form. His first full length book, "The Big Sleep", was published when Chandler was 51; his last, "Playback", when he was 70. All eight novels were produced in the last two decades of his life.

Biographical notes

In a letter to D. J. Ibberson, written 19 April 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 D.A.'s office for insubordination (or, as Marlowe put it, "talking back"). The D.A.'s chief investigator, Bernie Ohls, is a friend and former colleague, and a source of information for Marlowe within law enforcement.

Marlowe is slightly over six feet (about 185 centimetres) tall and weighs about 190 pounds (86 kilograms). His office is number 615 on the 6th floor of the Cahuenga Building, which is located 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 doesn't have a secretary (unlike his contemporary, Sam Spade). He generally refuses to take divorce cases.

He smokes and prefers Camels. At home, he sometimes smokes a pipe. He is also an adept chess player.

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 of the blended American whiskey 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")

Marlowe is adept at using liquor to loosen the tongues of people from whom he needs to extract information. 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 and thereby loosen up and give out. "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." See also Marlowe's interrogation of Jessie Florian in "Farewell My Lovely".

He makes good coffee, eschewing the use of filters (see "Farewell My Lovely"). He takes his coffee with cream in the mornings, but has it black at other times.

At the time of writing he was probably carrying a 9x19mm Parabellum Luger P08 pistol, but switched to a .32 ACP Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless, then to a .38 Special Smith & Wesson M&P [" [ The New Yorker] ".] . Phillip Marlowe also carried a Model 1911 semi-automatic pistol chambered in .38 Super in the book "The High Window".

See also Raymond Chandler, "Novels and Other Writings" (Library of America, 1995, ISBN 1-883011-08-6) for other letters.

Influences and adaptations

Marlowe has been played on the screen by Humphrey Bogart, Robert Montgomery, George Montgomery, Robert Mitchum, Dick Powell, Elliot Gould, Danny Glover, James Garner, and James Caan. In radio, in "The Adventures of Philip Marlowe", the character was portrayed by Van Heflin on NBC (17 June9 September 1947) and by Gerald Mohr on CBS (26 September 194815 September 1951). cite book | author = Terrace, Vincent | title = Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of Over 1800 Shows | origyear = 1999 | publisher = McFarland | location = Jefferson, NC | id = ISBN 0-7864-0351-9]

Powers Boothe had the title role in the HBO series, "Philip Marlowe, Private Eye", which ran from 1984 to 1986. Ed Bishop portrayed Marlowe in BBC Radio's "The Adventures of Philip Marlowe".cite web | url = | title = The BBC Presents: Philip Marlowe | first = Frank M | last = Passage | publisher = [ Old-Time Radio] | date = 2004-10-15 | accessdate = 2007-02-24 ]

Marlowe has appeared in short stories and novels by writers other than Chandler, such as "Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe: A Centennial Celebration" (1988). The central character in the original TV version of Dennis Potter's "The Singing Detective" is crime novelist Philip E. Marlow (portrayed by Michael Gambon). The female sleuths of the anthology "Tart Noir" (Berkeley, 2002) are described as "half Philip Marlowe, half femme fatale".

Marlowe is referenced in the lyrics to Burton Cummings' 1979 song "Dream of a Child, and Mark Knopfler's homage to him in the song "Private Investigations" by the Dire Straits.

In the "Count Duckula" episode "Private Beak", Duckula adopts the pseudonym of Philip Mallard, as a spoof of Marlowe.

Marlowe bibliography

Works by Raymond Chandler

* "Finger Man" (1934), (short story): This story originally featured an unnamed narrator, identified as "Carmady" in subsequent stories, and later renamed Marlowe for book publication.
* "Goldfish" (1936), (short story): This story originally featured Carmady, later renamed Marlowe for book publication.
* "Red Wind" (1938), (short story): This story originally featured John Dalmas, later renamed Marlowe for book publication.
* "Trouble Is My Business" (1939) (short story): This story originally featured John Dalmas, later renamed Marlowe for book publication.
* "The Big Sleep" (1939)
* "Farewell, My Lovely" (1940)
* "The High Window" (1942)
* "The Lady in the Lake" (1943)
* "The Little Sister" (1949)
* "The Simple Art of Murder" (1950) (short story collection)
* "The Long Goodbye" (1953)
* "Playback" (1958)
* "Poodle Springs" (left unfinished at Chandler's death in 1959; completed by Robert B. Parker, 1989)
* "The Pencil" (AKA "Marlowe Takes On the Syndicate", "Wrong Pigeon", and "Philip Marlowe's Last Case") (1959), (short story): Chandler's last completed work about Marlowe, his first Marlowe short story in more than twenty years, and the first short story originally written about Marlowe.

Works by others

* "Triste, solitario y final" (by Osvaldo Soriano, 1974. Marlowe appears as a character of the novel)
* "Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe: a Centennial Celebration" (collection of short stories by other writers, ed. Byron Preiss, 1988, ISBN 1-59687-847-9, and 1999, ISBN 0-671-03890-7, with two new stories)
* "Poodle Springs" (by Robert B. Parker, 1990, Parker's completion of a manuscript Chandler left unfinished when he died)
* "Perchance to Dream" (by Robert B. Parker, 1991, written as a sequel to Chandler's "The Big Sleep")
* "Orange Curtain" (by John Shannon; Marlowe appears in retirement as a real person used as the model for Chandler's novels)
* "Dealer's Choice" (by Sara Paretsky; satire of hard-boiled detective using Marlowe as main character)
* "The Singing Detective" (by Dennis Potter; Postmodern pastiche of Chandler in which the protagonist shares his name with Marlowe)

Film adaptations

* "The Falcon Takes Over" (1942) - Adaptation of "Farewell My Lovely" with detective "The Falcon" substituting for Marlowe (George Sanders as The Falcon)
* "Time to Kill" (1942 - Adaptation of "The High Window" with detective Michael Shayne substituting for Marlowe (Lloyd Nolan as Shayne)
* "Murder, My Sweet" (1944) — Adaptation of "Farewell My Lovely" (Dick Powell as Marlowe)
* "The Big Sleep (1946)" (Humphrey Bogart as Marlowe)
* "Lady in the Lake (1947)" (Robert Montgomery as Marlowe)
* "The Brasher Doubloon (1947)"— Adaptation of (and released in the UK as) "The High Window" (George Montgomery as Marlowe)
* "Marlowe (1969)" — Adaptation of "The Little Sister" (James Garner as Marlowe)
* "The Long Goodbye (1973)" (Elliott Gould as Marlowe)
* "Farewell My Lovely" (1975) (Robert Mitchum as Marlowe)
* "The Big Sleep (1978)" (Robert Mitchum as Marlowe)

Radio and television adaptations

* "Lux Radio Theatre", "Murder My Sweet", adapted from the 1944 film, CBS Radio, 11 June 1945 (Dick Powell as Marlowe)
* "The New Adventures Of Philip Marlowe", NBC Radio series, 17 June 1947 to 9 September 1947 (Van Heflin as Marlowe)
* "Suspense", CBS radio, 10 January 1948 (cameo by series host Robert Montgomery in "The Adventures of Sam Spade" cross-over, "The Kandy Tooth")
* "Hollywood Star Time", "Murder My Sweet", adapted from the 1944 film, CBS Radio, 8 June 1948 (Dick Powell as Marlowe)
* "The Adventures Of Philip Marlowe", CBS Radio series, 26 September 1948 to 15 September 1951 (Gerald Mohr as Marlowe)
* "Climax!", "The Long Goodbye", adapted from the novel, CBS Television, 7 October 1954 (Dick Powell as Marlowe)
* "Philip Marlowe", ABC Television series, 6 October 1959 to 29 March 1960 (Philip Carey as Marlowe)
* "Philip Marlowe, Private Eye", London Weekend Television/HBO Television series, 16 April 1983 to 18 May 1983, 27 April 1986 to 3 June 1986) [ [ "Philip Marlowe, Private Eye" at IMDb] ] (Powers Boothe as Marlowe)
* "", BBC Radio series, 26 September 1977 to 23 September 1988 (Ed Bishop as Marlowe)
* "Fallen Angels", "Red Wind", adapted from the short story, Showtime Television, 26 November 1995 (Danny Glover as Marlowe)
* "Poodle Springs", adapted from the novel (a fragment completed by Robert B. Parker), HBO Television movie, 25 July 1998 (James Caan as Marlowe)

Listen to

* [ Free OTR: "The Adventures of Philip Marlowe" (90 episodes)]
* [ OTR Network Library: "The Adventures of Philip Marlowe" (63 episodes)]

ee also

* Crime fiction for an overview


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Philip Marlowe — ist eine Romanfigur von Raymond Chandler. Er taucht zuerst in einigen Kurzgeschichten, später in den sieben Romanen Chandlers auf. In den Verfilmungen der Romane wurde er u. a. von Robert Mitchum, Elliott Gould, James Garner und James Caan… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Philip Marlowe — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Philip Marlowe es un detective privado ficticio, creado por Raymond Chandler en sus novelas, incluyendo El sueño eterno y El largo adiós. Marlowe apareció inicialmente en una historia corta, llamada Finger Man,… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Philip Marlowe — est un personnage de détective privé créé par Raymond Chandler dans une série de romans policier incluant Le Grand Sommeil. La première apparition de Marlowe a eu lieu dans une nouvelle appelée Finger Man, publiée en 1934. Dans cette première… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Philip Marlowe — es un detective privado ficticio, creado por Raymond Chandler en sus novelas, incluyendo El sueño eterno y El largo adiós. Marlowe apareció inicialmente en una historia corta, llamada Finger Man, publicada en 1934. En esta aparición, sin embargo …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Philip Marlowe — noun tough cynical detective (one of the early detective heroes in American fiction) created by Raymond Chandler • Syn: ↑Marlowe • Regions: ↑United States, ↑United States of America, ↑America, ↑the States, ↑US, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

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