Film Work of Raymond Chandler Screened
December 30, 2009
The Kansas City Public Library presents films either written by crime novelist Raymond Chandler or inspired by his work on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. throughout January 2010 in the Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
Chandler claimed that publishers never changed a word in his fiction. Hollywood would not show him that same respect, although five major studios employed him as a screenwriter – a job through which he earned two Oscar nominations.
Channeling Chandler is a series that complements the 2010 Adult Winter Reading Program, operating under the banner Readers in the Rue Morgue as it focuses on classic and contemporary mystery and crime fiction.
The Monday line-up includes:
Murder, My Sweet (1944) on January 4. Dick Powell reinvigorated his career with his portrayal of the world-weary private investigator Philip Marlowe, hired by an ex-con to find the girlfriend he lost while in prison. Based on Farewell, My Lovely, this film is considered among the best Chandler screen adaptations. Not rated. (95 min.)
The Big Sleep (1946) on January 11. Humphrey Bogart stars as Philip Marlowe in this classic yet baffling film noir as the private eye investigates a family mixed up with a blackmailing pornographer. Equally famous for the behind the scenes romance between Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Directed by Howard Hawks with a screenplay credited in part to William Faulkner. Not rated. (114 min.)
Strangers on a Train (1951) on January 25. A chance encounter lands tennis star Guy Haines (Farley Granger) in the middle of a murder plot devised by a psychopath who demands Guy’s participation. Chandler’s screenplay of this Patricia Highsmith novel was rejected by director Alfred Hitchcock, though Chandler retains screen credit. Not rated. (101 min.)
The Saturday line-up includes:
Time to Kill (1942) on January 2. Philip Marlowe is swapped out for detective Michael Shayne in the last film featuring the popular 20th Century Fox character, who is in pursuit of clever counterfeiters. Based on the Chandler novel The High Window, with changes to conform with the Production Code. Not rated. (61 min.)
The Blue Dahlia (1946) on January 9. Alan Ladd stars as a WWII vet who returns home to find his unfaithful wife hosting a drunken party – before she winds up dead, leaving him a mystery to solve before the police arrest him as their prime suspect. With Veronica Lake. The only original Chandler screenplay ever produced. Not rated. (96 min.)
Lady in the Lake (1947) on January 16. Noted for its first-person camera perspective, this film succeeds regardless of gimmickry. Director Robert Montgomery also plays Philip Marlowe, who is hired to track down a missing woman. Based on the Chandler novel. Not rated. (105 min.)
The Brasher Doubloon (1947) on January 23. Philip Marlowe is hired to find and return a stolen gold coin but finds murder and blackmail – and a savage beating. Starring George Montgomery. The second film adaptation of The High Window. Not rated. (72 min.)
Marlowe (1968) on January 30. James Garner takes on the role of Philip Marlowe as he seeks out a lost sibling for his latest client. Includes a riveting early film appearance by Bruce Lee. Based on the Chandler novel The Little Sister. Rated PG. (96 min.)