King Leopardi was a big celebrity and an even bigger ladykiller, but when he winds up dead in a singer's boudoir all the evidence points to her. Marlowe is hired to find the real killers before his ...
Philip Marlow, a one time cop and with an unfortunate habit of being too honest and too broke for his own good, takes the job of protecting a former mob accountant on the run. When two hit men arrive...
In this unauthorized adaptation of the novel "The Long Goodbye" by Raymond Chandler set in Tokyo during the 1950', Tamotsu is suspected of murdering his actress wife Shizuka Harada. He ... See full summary »
Relying on his wits, instinct, gun and whiskey private detective Philip Marlowe solves many of Los Angeles' worst crime cases during the 1930s. His style is sarcastic, his methods are unorthodox, his charm is adored by the ladies, his meddling is hated by the local cops, his wallet is often times empty and his skull is hardened by the many unexpected blows received in the dark. Despite his low social status, his constant drinking and the lowly company he keeps Philip Marlowe has very high moral standards and a very developed sense of justice. Often times he lends a helping hand to those in need who are at the bottom of society and also to tear-eyed attractive ladies in distress who can gift him a kiss and a drink. The crime mystery series are adapted from Raymond Chandler's short stories. Written by
Absolutely the best Philip Marlowe incarnation ever
Powers Boothe is the quintessential Philip Marlowe; no one can ever best his performance in this series. He is cool, hip, a great wisecracker, and obsessed about the truth while seeming not to care. The next-best aspect of the series was the complete re-creation of the 1930's; sets were perfect, cars were big and bulky, clothes were gorgeous, and art deco abounded. Marlowe's bathroom even had those pastel nile green tiles that were everywhere in the 30's and 40's.
The 1986 series listed here was not the first, though, and not the best. HBO did 5 episodes in 1983 that have never been run since and were all mostly filmed, I believe, in England; these featured the luminous Kathryn Leigh Scott as Annie Rearden. She doesn't show up much in the second set, and that in itself makes the newer series a pale copy of the original.
These original episodes are the ones that should have been released first as they are far superior, and I look forward to them being issued. "The King in Yellow" was a masterpiece about a murdered big-band trumpeteer whom everyone hated so suspects were plentiful; "Smart Aleck Kill" mimicked Wallace Reid's drug-induced death in grand Hollywood style; "The Pencil" found Marlowe vying with a mafia boss to get a stool pigeon out of town alive; "Nevada Gas" featured a corrupt attorney who is targeted by his wife's boyfriend (played with nasty panache by "Hawk the Slayer's" John Terry); "Finger Man" has a femme fatale who takes up with a friend of Marlowe's, who then tries to frame Marlowe for a robbery.
This is a quality production, but can't truly be called a series. Only these 11 episodes were filmed, to my knowledge. I taped them all on their original run, and they weren't treated as an ongoing thing, which was a distinct oversight on HBO's part. Powers Boothe is magnetic as well as truly wonderful in this role, and they could have had a real winner on their hands if they had continued with the team used on the original 5 episodes, and without such a long break between the two sets.
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