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.
RIP indeed. My cat is named after Chandler’s character Phillip Marlowe, who Garner played.