Mysterious Orfamay Quest hires Los Angeles private investigator Philip Marlowe to find her missing brother. Though the job seems simple enough, it leads Marlowe into the underbelly of the city, turning up leads who are murdered with ice picks, exotic dancers, blackmailed television stars and self-preserving gangsters. Soon, Marlowe's life is on the line right along with his case.
I'm a trained detective! Marlowe is directed by Paul Bogart and adapted to screenplay by Stirling Silliphant from the novel The Little Sister written by Raymond Chandler. It stars James Garner, Gayle Hunnicut, Carroll O'Connor and Rita Moreno. Music is by Peter Matz and cinematography by William H. Daniels. Los Angeles private detective Philip Marlow (Garner) is working on what he thinks is a simple missing persons case, how wrong he is! Q as in Quintessential - U as in Uninhibited - E as in Extrasensory - S as in Subliminal - T as in Toots! Another of the interpretations for the great Chandler creation of Philip Marlowe, unsurprisingly met with mixed notices - just as all the others have done. You do wonder what Chandler would have made of the role portrayals that came out post his death? I like to think he very much would have enjoyed Garner's take, because this Marlowe is a quip happy wise guy, unflappable and cool, he portrays so much with just a glance, and the girls love him. The story is juicy in its little complexities, spinning Marlowe into muddy waters the further he investigates things. His life is always under threat, be it by serial ice-pick users or Asian martial artists (Bruce Lee no less in a nutty couple of scenes) wishing to inflict death, or of arrest by an increasingly frustrated police force. Bogart and Daniels keep the whole thing stylish looking, with film noir camera tricks and colour photography infusing the period details. While the supporting cast, notably the ladies, give Garner some splendid support. It's a different Marlowe for sure, but a thoroughly engaging and entertaining one. 7/10