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Re: Hammett (continued)

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  • Wyatt James
    That was the Canadian Op Dick Foley, and our hero kicks him out because he felt he didn t trust him not to go blabbing to the Boss -- that was not expanded
    Message 1 of 15 , Apr 5, 2004
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      That was the Canadian Op Dick Foley, and our hero kicks him out
      because he felt he didn't trust him not to go blabbing to the Boss --
      that was not expanded (but it may have been in other stories, don't
      know). Another Op, who also appears in "Dain Curse" is Mickey Linehan,
      who is one of Hammett's great subsidiary characters, and in a way is
      Continental Op's Watson.

      These were not independent short short stories then cobbled together
      to make a book (although the author may have reused some of his plot
      lines from earlier stories). It is just the way the novel was put
      together, I suspect for serial publication in "Black Mask" or wherever
      it first appeared. Each 'episode' would have made a lead entry in that
      month's issue.

      --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Blake" <mike.blake@b...> wrote:
      > "Wyatt James" <grobius@s...> wrote:
      > ----->
      > "Red Harvest" (1928), his first novel, is very disappointing, being an
      > episodic compilation of short stories set in the corrupt mining town
      > of Personville ('Poisonville'). The Continental Op has taken on the
      > task of cleaning up the town, and his method is to set the different
      > gangster factions against each other. It is sheer pulp fiction, with
      > something like two-dozen or so killings, mostly shoot-em-ups of
      > Keystone Kops freneticism in which practically every major character
      > ends up dead. A couple of 'real' murders are solved by the Op using
      > detection, but otherwise this does not rank as a detective novel. His
      > dialogue is good, however, and some of the characters are well-drawn
      > (especially the floozy Dinah Brand and the corrupt Sheriff Noonan).
      > <-----
      >
      > Disappointing, perhaps, but so influential, especially in cinema.
      Look at
      > the all the films, from Samurai movies to spaghetti westerns and
      back to
      > gangster films, it has inspired. Maybe =because= rather than in
      spite of
      > its pulpishness and violent, episodic nature.
      >
      > But I did not know before that it was cobbled together from short
      stories.
      > There's another character that intrigues me in this book. The
      protagonist
      > calls in other Continental Ops to help him at one point, he has a
      > disagreement with one who sees himself as a rival and won't do
      things his
      > way. That character up and leaves. I found myself scratching my head
      and
      > wondering what that was all about. It happens so quickly it makes no
      > difference to anything else in the book. Your explanation (they were
      short
      > stories) helps a bit with that episode.
      >
      > --Mike Blake
    • W. Peck
      Ah...how could I have forgotten the lovely Lake and underrated Bendix, the Blue Dahlia gang? Thank you kindly, Xavier. ; ...
      Message 2 of 15 , Apr 5, 2004
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        Ah...how could I have forgotten the lovely Lake and underrated Bendix, the
        "Blue Dahlia" gang? Thank you kindly, Xavier.
        ;
        --- Xavier Lechard <x.lechard@...> wrote:
        > W. Peck wrote:
        >
        > >And wasn't THE GLASS KEY another Hammett novel adapted for film -- Alan
        > >Ladd, I think, and Brian Donleavy and I don't recall who else?
        >
        > Veronica Lake and, above all, William Bendix who gives Ladd one of the
        > most memorable beatings in film history. "When I bite a steak, I like it
        > to bite back at me". Screenplay, for the record, was written by
        > hardboiled veteran Johnathan Latimer who actually loathed Hammett and
        > his book.
        >
        > Friendly,
        > Xavier
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >


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      • b_ergang
        ... ******************** Yes, but it was a remake of a 1935 version--which I don t think I ve ever seen, at least not in its entirety--starring George Raft,
        Message 3 of 15 , Apr 5, 2004
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          --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, "W. Peck" <aria376@y...> wrote:
          > And wasn't THE GLASS KEY another Hammett novel adapted for film --
          >Alan Ladd, I think, and Brian Donleavy and I don't recall who else?
          ********************
          Yes, but it was a remake of a 1935 version--which I don't think I've
          ever seen, at least not in its entirety--starring George Raft,
          Edward Arnold, and Claire Dodd--according to THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF
          MYSTERY AND DETECTION.
        • W. Peck
          Thank you, Barry. I wasn t aware of that one--and it didn t occur to me to consult Steinbrunner-Penzler--and wish I d seen it too. Although I ve never been
          Message 4 of 15 , Apr 6, 2004
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            Thank you, Barry. I wasn't aware of that one--and it didn't occur to me
            to consult Steinbrunner-Penzler--and wish I'd seen it too. Although I've
            never been able to make up my mind about Raft, I've always thought Arnold
            was terrific in nearly every role.
            ;
            --- b_ergang <bergang@...> wrote:
            > --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, "W. Peck" <aria376@y...> wrote:
            > > And wasn't THE GLASS KEY another Hammett novel adapted for film --
            > >Alan Ladd, I think, and Brian Donleavy and I don't recall who else?
            > ********************
            > Yes, but it was a remake of a 1935 version--which I don't think I've
            > ever seen, at least not in its entirety--starring George Raft,
            > Edward Arnold, and Claire Dodd--according to THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF
            > MYSTERY AND DETECTION.
            >
            >
            >


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          • b_ergang
            ... Although I ve never been able to make up my mind about Raft, I ve always thought Arnold was terrific in nearly every role. ***************** We can all
            Message 5 of 15 , Apr 6, 2004
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              --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, "W. Peck" <aria376@y...> wrote:
              Although I've never been able to make up my mind about Raft, I've
              always thought Arnold was terrific in nearly every role.
              *****************
              We can all thank Raft for declining some roles that moved Bogart out
              of Warner Brother's "murderer's row" and gave him the "star" status
              his talent deserved. Because he refused to die at the end of a
              picture, Raft turned down the lead in "High Sierra." Because he
              didn't want to trust his career to a fledgling director named John
              Huston, he turned down the part of Sam Spade in "The Maltese Falcon."

              Another film that ultimately benefited from Warner Bros. deciding to
              take chances was "Casablanca." The original leads were to have been
              Ronald Reagan (yecch!) and Ann Sheridan. There's a scary thought.
              Reagan couldn't perform to the level of a kindergarten play, and
              Sheridan, though good in a lot of roles ("I Was a Male War Bride,"
              for instance), would have been supremely miscast as Ilsa.

              Like you, I've never seen Edward Arnold turn in a bad performance--
              though I can't say I've seen a lot of his films. He could play good
              guy or bad guy with equal skill. I recently watched--and taped for
              the collection--"Eyes in the Night," in which he portrayed Baynard
              Kendrick's blind detective Duncan Maclain and did a good job of it.
              He played Nero Wolfe at least once ("Meet Nero Wolfe"}, but if I
              ever saw it, I don't remember it at all.
            • Bob Schneider
              The Blue Dahlia & The Glass Key were very entertaining, very worthwhile watching, but they had their flaws. In The Glass Key, Bendix administered several
              Message 6 of 15 , Apr 6, 2004
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                The Blue Dahlia & The Glass Key were very entertaining, very
                worthwhile watching, but they had their flaws. In The Glass Key,
                Bendix administered several beatings to Ladd. As I write this I'm
                watching the 1978 Robert Mitchem version of The Big Sleep, filmed in
                England. Not a great movie but better than anything else on TV
                tonight. Some very attractive women in this version--Sarah Miles,
                Candy Clark, Joan Collins. On the other hand, the superior 1946
                Bogart version had Lauren Bacall and Dorothy Malone.

                Bob



                -- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, "W. Peck" <aria376@y...> wrote:
                > Ah...how could I have forgotten the lovely Lake and underrated
                Bendix, the
                > "Blue Dahlia" gang? Thank you kindly, Xavier.
                > ;
                > --- Xavier Lechard <x.lechard@f...> wrote:
                > > W. Peck wrote:
                > >
                > > >And wasn't THE GLASS KEY another Hammett novel adapted for film -
                - Alan
                > > >Ladd, I think, and Brian Donleavy and I don't recall who else?
                > >
                > > Veronica Lake and, above all, William Bendix who gives Ladd one
                of the
                > > most memorable beatings in film history.
              • b_ergang
                ... wrote: As I write this I m watching the 1978 Robert Mitchem version of The Big Sleep, filmed in England. Not a great movie but better
                Message 7 of 15 , Apr 6, 2004
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                  --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, "Bob Schneider"
                  <speedymystery@y...> wrote:
                  As I write this I'm watching the 1978 Robert Mitchem version of The
                  Big Sleep, filmed in England. Not a great movie but better than
                  anything else on TV tonight. Some very attractive women in this
                  version--Sarah Miles, Candy Clark, Joan Collins. On the other hand,
                  the superior 1946 Bogart version had Lauren Bacall and Dorothy
                  Malone.
                  ******************
                  I posted the following at another group when the subject of movies
                  adapted from Chandler's novels arose:

                  ___The saddest thing about Michael Winner's production of "The Big
                  Sleep" is that it's the only adaptation of a Chandler novel that's
                  almost completely faithful to the source. (The one rather lame
                  moment, changed for the sake of "excitement," was Marlowe's final
                  confrontation with Canino, overplayed by Richard Boone. [Bob Steele
                  did a much better job in the Howard Hawks production.])

                  ___Now if they'd set the film in L.A. in 1939 or the early '40s, and
                  used an all-American cast as good as the British one, they might
                  have had something.

                  ___Mitchum, however, sleepwalked through the part. He did a much
                  better job in "Farewell, My Lovely," but I'd still personally rank
                  Bogart and Powell higher on the list of Marlowes.___

                  Incidentally, and to add to my recent trivia discussions, "The Big
                  Sleep" was released in 1946 but shot the year before. Release was
                  delayed because Warners wanted to play up Bacall's part and her
                  scenes with Bogart because of the chemistry they'd shown in "To Have
                  and Have Not." They didn't want it to run longer than two hours;
                  thus, some scenes in the original were excised and new ones shot to
                  replace them.

                  Both versions of the film are now available--I believe the DVD
                  contains both, plus a documentary about the making of the film, part
                  of which I once caught on TCM.

                  The 1945 version is somewhat more coherent as to the plot, which
                  anyone who has ever seen the 1946 version knows is thorough
                  confusion.

                  More trivia: according to a book called FAULKNER AND FILM by Bruce
                  F. Kawin, early versions of the script played up Martha Vickers's
                  role as Carmen Sternwood. She was so good the scenes were cut or
                  toned down, because the studio didn't want her to overshadow Lauren
                  Bacall.

                  Best,
                  Barry
                • Sam Karnick
                  Barry, I agree that CASABLANCA would not have been as good without the lead performers who were ultimately cast, but your comments about Ronald Reagan as an
                  Message 8 of 15 , Apr 8, 2004
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                    Barry, I agree that CASABLANCA would not have been as good without the
                    lead performers who were ultimately cast, but your comments about Ronald
                    Reagan as an actor are dead wrong. His early WB films include several
                    stories of mystery and suspense in which he handles himself quite well
                    (notably in his three greatly entertaining Brass Bancroft films), and
                    his performance in KINGS ROW has long been correctly acknowledged as a
                    truly great performance. Reagan also did a terrific job in films as
                    diverse as DARK VICTORY, KNUTE ROCKNE: ALL-AMERICAN, THE HASTY HEART,
                    THE VOICE OF THE TURTLE, TENNESSEE'S PARTNER, and THE KILLERS, among
                    many others. One can certainly disagree with his politics, but to
                    denigrate him as unable to perform to the level of a kindergarten play
                    is utterly wrong factually. He was a fine actor, not one of the very
                    highest rank, but a thoroughly competent and appealing performer who
                    sometimes reached real heights of inspiration.

                    Best w's,

                    Sam

                    S.T. Karnick
                    Editor in Chief, American Outlook, American Outlook Today
                    Director of Publications, Hudson Institute



                    -----Original Message-----
                    Date: Tue, 06 Apr 2004 20:29:58 -0000
                    From: "b_ergang" <bergang@...>
                    Subject: George Raft and Edward Arnold

                    --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, "W. Peck" <aria376@y...> wrote:
                    Although I've never been able to make up my mind about Raft, I've
                    always thought Arnold was terrific in nearly every role.
                    *****************
                    We can all thank Raft for declining some roles that moved Bogart out
                    of Warner Brother's "murderer's row" and gave him the "star" status
                    his talent deserved. Because he refused to die at the end of a
                    picture, Raft turned down the lead in "High Sierra." Because he
                    didn't want to trust his career to a fledgling director named John
                    Huston, he turned down the part of Sam Spade in "The Maltese Falcon."

                    Another film that ultimately benefited from Warner Bros. deciding to
                    take chances was "Casablanca." The original leads were to have been
                    Ronald Reagan (yecch!) and Ann Sheridan. There's a scary thought.
                    Reagan couldn't perform to the level of a kindergarten play, and
                    Sheridan, though good in a lot of roles ("I Was a Male War Bride,"
                    for instance), would have been supremely miscast as Ilsa.

                    Like you, I've never seen Edward Arnold turn in a bad performance--
                    though I can't say I've seen a lot of his films. He could play good
                    guy or bad guy with equal skill. I recently watched--and taped for
                    the collection--"Eyes in the Night," in which he portrayed Baynard
                    Kendrick's blind detective Duncan Maclain and did a good job of it.
                    He played Nero Wolfe at least once ("Meet Nero Wolfe"}, but if I
                    ever saw it, I don't remember it at all.
                  • b_ergang
                    ... ...your comments about Ronald Reagan as an actor are dead wrong.... One can certainly disagree with his politics.... **************** Sam, we ll have to
                    Message 9 of 15 , Apr 8, 2004
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                      --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, "Sam Karnick" <Sam@h...> wrote:
                      ...your comments about Ronald Reagan as an actor are dead wrong....
                      One can certainly disagree with his politics....
                      ****************
                      Sam, we'll have to agree to disagree about this. I was definitely at
                      odds with his politics, but I couldn't stand him as a performer long
                      before he ever ran for a political office.

                      Best,
                      Barry
                    • Xavier Lechard
                      ... I, for one, never got what was so awful about Reagan s acting. Sure he was neither Laurence Olivier nor Marlon Brando (though I have strong reservation
                      Message 10 of 15 , Apr 8, 2004
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                        Barry wrote:

                        >Sam, we'll have to agree to disagree about this. I was definitely at
                        >odds with his politics, but I couldn't stand him as a performer long
                        >before he ever ran for a political office.

                        I, for one, never got what was so awful about Reagan's acting. Sure he was neither Laurence Olivier nor Marlon Brando (though I have strong reservation about the latter) but I can name a lot of his fellows that were much, much worse than him. Seeing John Agar for a minute makes you long for Ronnie. Also, and as Sam rightly pointed out, Reagan has a pretty good film-record, even though he wasn't always responsible for success of films he was in.

                        Friendly,
                        Xavier

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