Dime Detective - August, 1939
Well. Women in refrigerators coincidentally date to the earliest years of superheroes.
On the next episode of “Down These Mean Streets,” we salute Raymond Chandler with a belated birthday tribute. In honor of the legendary writer, we’ll catch up with his private detective, Philip Marlowe. We’ll hear Marlowe take on two of his toughest radio cases in “The Dancing Hands” (originally aired on CBS on March 19, 1949) and “The Glass Donkey” (originally aired on CBS on July 28, 1950). Listen as Marlowe proves once again that crime doesn’t pay in Episode 68 - Gutter, Prison, or Grave, available Sunday, July 27th!
Click here to subscribe to the “Down These Mean Streets” podcast in iTunes.
And, in case you missed it, click here for last week’s episode featuring The Man Called X.
Dime Detective Magazine, March 1938.
Carroll John Daly, “A Corpse on the House” (Race Williams)
Raymond Chandler, “The King in Yellow” (Steve Grace, housedick) - first appearance of this story, one often reprinted
Frederick C. Davis, “Crimson Broadcast” (Keyhole Kerry)
William Edward Hayes, “Death by Enlargement”
Maxwell Hawkins, “Rx Murder”
Raymond Chandler, one of the fathers of modern detective fiction, was born July 23, 1888. He turned to writing after the Great Depression cost him his job as an oil executive. Chandler’s first story was published in Black Mask magazine in 1933, and six years later his first novel appeared. That novel was The Big Sleep, and it introduced the world to Philip Marlowe, the tough but philosophical private detective.
Marlowe’s adventures have been adapted for the big screen, television, and radio. The list of actors who have stepped into his suit and shoulder holster includes Humphrey Bogart, Dick Powell, James Garner, Robert Mitchum, Danny Glover, and James Caan. On radio, Marlowe’s adventures could be heard from 1947 to 1951, with Gerald Mohr most famously giving voice to the gumshoe.
In honor of Chandler’s birthday, I’ll play two episodes of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe starring Gerald Mohr this Sunday in Episode 68 of the podcast. And stay tuned today for some old time radio adaptations of some of Chandler’s screenplays and short stories.
For more hard-boiled detectives from the Golden Age of Radio, click here to subscribe to the “Down These Mean Streets” podcast in iTunes.
RIP James Garner. I’ve discussed his iconic role as Jim Rockford before. Garner’s demise has prompted to revisit an undervalued cinematic role, however, as Philip Marlowe in 1969’s Marlowe. Based on Chandler’s The Little Sister, Marlowe probably resembles Mannix a bit more than The Rockford Files.
"You take this back to your leader, Mr. Wong. Tell him you met the last of a dying dynasty: King of the Fools. Unassailably virtuous, invariably broke."
I’m not sure if Marlowe was unassailably virtuous (see my previous musings on Marlowe), but Marlowe certainly captures Chandler telegraphic cadence, even in the Swingin’ Sixties.
With Garner’s death, the only living actor to have portrayed Marlowe on the big screen is Elliott Gould (from Robert Altman’s brilliant but decidedly not Chandleresque The Long Goodbye). Several small-screen Marlowes (Powers Boothe, Danny Glover, Jason O’Mara from the never-shown ABC pilot) are still with us. I’d say its high time for more Marlowe adaptations—good ones, dammit.
Still have to see that one. Speaking about new adaptations, any news on the Andrew W. Marlowe/Terri Edda Miller front?
You shouldn’t kiss a girl when you’re wearing that gun… it leaves a bruise.
Murder, My Sweet (1944)
Summer 1952 issue, the magazine’s first appearance
reprint of Chandler’s 1951 story “Professor Bingo’s Stuff” (brief bio on inside cover)
Walter M. Miller Jr., “And Ten are Johnny”
Sam Martinez, “For Heaven’s Sake”
Paul W. Fairman, “Someday They’ll Give Us Guns”
Louise Lee Outlaw, “The Runaway”
H.B. Hickey, “Full Circle”
Kris Neville, “The Opal Necklace”
Ray Bradbury, “The Smile”
H.L. Gold, “And Three to Get Ready”
Isaac Asimov, “What If”
Howard Browne, editor
Of course Howard Browne editor would publish a Chandler short story.
Black Mask 1937
Wilbur Thomas, Cover Art
~ Dwight V. Babcock, “State Narcotic Dick”, ‘Bromley and muggles (marijuana)’, 13th of 21 stories in BM
~ J.M. Bell, “The Blinking Eye”, short-short, 2nd of 2 stories in BM
~ Max Brand, “Bulldog”, 1st of 2 stories in BM
~ Raymond Chandler, “Try the Girl”, 4th and last Carmady story, last of 11 stories in BM, reprinted in the anthology Killer in the Rain
~ Theodore A. Tinsley, “Little Guy”, ‘18th (of 25) Jerry Tracy capers, columnist on the (NYC) Planet, ‘mixer with poor and rich, the crooked and the straight, trailer of trouble and happiness’, 19th of 26 stories in BM
~ Roger Torrey, “Murder Frame”, ‘Cassidy, cop, is framed’, 24th of 50 appearances in BM
~ Cornell Woolrich, “Shooting Going On”, ‘Hollywood murder’, 1st of 24 (22 original) stories to appear in BM
The Big Sleep, 1946
The Long Goodbye (1973). German poster.