Talk about a huge list, last week was a tough one for me, this time, I was wondering which movies to pick and where to go..so many choices! I'll be interested to see what the others have chosen and, if you head on over to the brainchild of this weekly event, Wandering Through The Shelves, you can find out:) . I did do a theme within a theme so here we go...
1. THE BIG SLEEP-1946
How can one not choose a Humphrey Bogart Film?! This is his area of expertise and one can understand why, hell, I could have just done a Bogie salute here but I went a slightly different route. This is his second pairing with his wife, Lauren Bacall and he has the tough, hardened P.I. down to a science. He plays Philip Marlowe (Raymond Chandler wrote a series of books about this detective) who is hired by an elderly General to find the General's daughter which leads him into a plot that no one can truly figure out but no one cares. You have blackmail, murder, gambling and, of course the older sister, played by Bacall. There is a famous scene where Bogie and Bacall are talking about horse racing..yeah and I want to sell you swamp land in Florida. To get by the censors, who were dumb asses, their sex talk devised around horse racing, can make one hot and bothered. This is a great Film Noir that no one should miss.
2. LADY IN THE LAKE-1947
Robert Montgomery (Elizabeth Montgomery's dad-you know, Bewitched) plays Phillip Marlowe who is fed up with the P.I. business and decides to write a book. He is asked to a publishing house only to find out they don't want his book but his P.I. abilities to find a woman. The lady wants Marlowe to find her boss's wife (even though she has the hotsies for her boss)and Marlowe is on the search. Of course there are twists and turns and what is a Film Noir without a evil bitch, I mean, duplicitous Femme Fatale. The uniqueness of this film is that Montgomery, who is the director of this movie, shot it from a first person perspective so, even though he is the star of the film, you only see him twice, when he is looking in the mirror. This was his last film for MGM after being with this studio for almost 20 years. It is worth seeing although I think there are better movies, but I chose this because of its uniqueness.
3. THE LONG GOODBYE-1973
Elliott Gould plays ...guess? ...Yup, Phillip Marlowe, as a down on his luck, out of step with time, P.I. hired by his good friend to drive him near the Mexico border...before any wall was even mentioned except for the one in Berlin. As soon as Marlowe returns, 2 cops pick him up questioning him about his friend's wife who is murdered. The cops throw Marlowe in jail but release him 3 days later when they find Marlowe's friend dead in the desert, ruled a suicide. Of course, Marlowe doesn't buy it which leads him down a trail of more murder, twists and a Femme fatale. This is updated to the present time(well, for that time) but it has the feel of a 40's Film Noir with major updates. Gould is excellent as the P.I. and you have to love all the verbal bantering that Robert Altman, the director, is famous for. Love the fact that Gould and Sterling Hayden's scenes together were mostly ad-libbed because Hayden was drunk and stoned on pot most of the time.
Which P.I. Movies would you choose?