Whether he's on the trail of a ruthless kidnapper, or entangled in a gruesome murder of a Hollywood Hopeful, Philip Marlowe always gets his man. Set in the smog-shrouded streets of 1930's Los Angeles and telling the classic stories from the famous mystery author Raymond Chandler. Starring Powers Booth, Chandler's vivid world is one of corruption, blackmail, sudden death and fear, people by some of the most colourful characters in American fiction. Shot through with wit and humour, Marlowe explores back alleys and millionaires mansions in a fast moving kaleidoscope of good time girls, crooked politicians and dangerous gunmen. Faithful to the original stories, filmed in period and beautifully made.
Decent, and with Boothe an excellent Marlowe
- Philip Marlowe: Private Eye review by RD
It seems this is actually the second series, the first not yet released and is meant to be superior to this. Nevertheless a good dose of 30s Marlowe, no attempt to update the stories, which is definitely a good thing. The best thing though is Boothe, who plays a Marlowe somewhere between Mitchum and Bogart - but never tries to imitate them. There's something in Boothe's manner that fits the part. You can tell that there's been some money spent on the series by the nascent HBO, no wobbly sets and the acting is mainly fine - occasionally there's the odd weakness of scripting but it hits the right feel. Generally I found this got better as it went along, with the best episode being the final one, the claustrophobic Red Wind. What lets it down though is the print is very much early DVD better than VHS but not crisp like we'd expect if this was pressed today. Shame, really. 3 1/2 out of five.