U.S.A. • 1969 • COLOUR • 35MM • 96 MIN

The only big-screen version of Chandler’s work made during the 1960s, Marlowe is also the only adaptation to date of his 1949 novel The Little Sister, in which he provided a very unflattering portrait of the movie industry. Neatly scripted by prolific writer Stirling Silliphant (In the Heat of the Night), who sets the action in modern Los Angeles and substitutes the TV world for that of cinema, it has James Garner playing Marlowe as a private eye whose old fashioned values find him wandering somewhat bemused though the fag end of the swinging sixties. Hired for $50 a day by a demure blonde to find her missing brother, Marlowe soon finds himself sinking into ever more murky waters as he’s dragged into a scam involving a TV star and some blackmail photos. Paul Bogart’s stylish direction captures a strong sense of time and place, and Garner brings considerable verve and charm to his playing of Marlowe as a man out of time. This undervalued item in the Chandler movie canon is also notable for an early appearance by kung fu star Bruce Lee.

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