Creatures of Darkness: Raymond Chandler, Detective Fiction, by Gene D. Phillips

By Gene D. Phillips

Greater than the other author, Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) is answerable for elevating detective tales from the extent of pulp fiction to literature. Chandler's hard-boiled inner most eye Philip Marlowe set the traditional for tough, brooding heroes who controlled to take care of a powerful feel of ethical conviction regardless of a merciless and detached global . Chandler's seven novels, together with the large Sleep (1939) and The lengthy so long (1953), with their pessimism and grim realism, had an instantaneous effect at the emergence of movie noir. Chandler labored to provide his crime novels the flavour of his followed urban, la, which used to be nonetheless whatever of a frontier city, rife with corruption and lawlessness. as well as novels, Chandler wrote brief tales and penned the screenplays for a number of movies, together with Double Indemnity (1944) and Strangers on a educate (1951). His paintings with Billy Wilder and Alfred Hitchcock on those tasks used to be fraught with the problems of collaboration among demonstrated administrators and an writer who disliked having to edit his writing on call for. Creatures of Darkness is the 1st significant biocritical examine of Chandler in two decades. Gene Phillips explores Chandler's unpublished script for woman within the Lake , examines the method of variation of the unconventional Strangers on a educate, discusses the advantages of the unproduced screenplay for Playback , and compares Howard Hawks's director's lower of the large Sleep with the model proven in theaters. via interviews he carried out with Wilder, Hitchcock, Hawks, and Edward Dmytryk over the last numerous many years, Phillips presents deeper perception into Chandler's occasionally tough character. Chandler's wisecracking Marlowe has spawned one thousand imitations. Creatures of Darkness lucidly explains the author's dramatic impression on either the literary and cinematic worlds, demonstrating the immeasurable debt that either detective fiction and the neo-noir motion pictures of this day owe to Chandler's stark imaginative and prescient.

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In essence, the lady is a tramp. To begin with, Marlowe has deduced that Helen Grayle is Velma Valento; she was Moose's partner in the bank robbery, and she turned him in to the police for the reward. But Moose's devotion to Velma was such that he was willing to take the rap for the robbery and allow her to go free. She had, during Moose's eight years in pri~on, carved out a new life for herself and had been accepted as a respectable socialite, once she had married into Lewin Grayle's social circle.

22 There were, for example, the Falcon series at RKO and the Michael Shayne series at Twentieth Century Fox. The majority of these private-eye series were given low-budget status by the studios, which means that each entry in a given series was produced quickly and cheaply. In 1941 RKO contributed to Hollywood's list of«B" sleuths Michael Arlen's Falcon. The first film of this series was based on Michael Arlen's only tale about the Falcon, a short story entitled «The Gay Falcon:' The movie, which starred George Sanders as Gay Lawrence, better known as the Falcon, was produced in 1941 with the same title.

Cold war, which followed the hot war, spawned Senator Joseph McCarthy's witch hunt for Communists, which was carried on by the hearings of the House Unamerican Ac- a Dead of Night 9 tivities Committee. "The world was gloomier and more complicated than it had been before:'4o Also in keeping with the conventions of film noir is an air of spare, unvarnished realism, typified by the stark, documentary-like quality of the cinematography, especially in the grim scenes that take place at night. In essence, the sinister nightmare world of film noir is one of "seedy motels, boarding houses, and roadside diners:' shabby bars and cafesY It is a world in which a woman with a past can encounter a man with no future in the insulated atmosphere of a tawdry cocktail lounge.

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