Booze News: Update on Clive Owen's Philip Marlowe Project

>> Thursday, June 21, 2007

Anna Halsey was about two hundred and forty pounds of middle-aged putty-faced woman in a black tailor-made suit. Her eyes were shiny black shoe buttons, her cheeks were as soft as suet and about the same color. She was sitting behind a black glass desk that looked like Napoleon's tomb and she was smoking a cigarette in a black holder that was not quite as long as a rolled umbrella. She said: "I need a man."
That's the opening of Raymond Chandler's short story, "Trouble is My Business," which has been selected to be adapted for the screen with Clive Owen in the role of Philip Marlowe. It's not a bad choice. All but one of Chandler's Marlowe novels have been previously adapted, so selecting a short story allows the production to tackle virgin screen material.

What worries me about the announcement is that Frank Miller has been hired to adapt the story. I have nothing against Miller. I'm actually a big fan of The Dark Knight Returns and his Sin City comics. However, he's not exactly the most subtle writer in the world, and his recent comic work has seemed like self-parody. I'm afraid he may try to improve upon Chandler, which is always a losing proposition.

Anyway, it will be good to see my favorite drunky detective hit the big screen again. I'll be hoping for the best (and keeping my fingers crossed). Here's the full story from Variety: "Frank Miller Takes On Trouble"

Trouble Is My Business (Paperback)


Anonymous June 22, 2007 at 4:49 PM  

My Favorite Year with Peter O'Toole is supposed to be an excellent drinky film.

Anonymous June 22, 2007 at 4:50 PM  

I meant to put that on the post below.

Anonymous June 24, 2007 at 4:01 PM  

I'm not a fan of Frank Miller either, and hopefully, this is just a case of a guy taking the money while he's hot. They can hire a better writer and a director later. Clive Owen and Raymond Chandler seem almost tailor made for each other.

garv June 24, 2007 at 10:03 PM  

I don't dislike Frank Miller. I've actually liked a lot of his work. What worries me more than anything is the fact that I would characterize his work as modern (even his SIN CITY noirs). I'm hoping the Clive Owen film will be anything but modern.

I also hope they don't go the CGI route on the film. I enjoyed SIN CITY, but I thought the film lacked weight, in large part due to the way it was filmed. I rather see a film that is more MURDER, MY SWEET or CHINATOWN rather than SIN CITY.

edP June 26, 2007 at 9:51 PM  

Have to agree with Garv here - everything is so black and white in Frank Miller's hands or at least that's how his characters come off...Raymond Chandler and 20th century writers of his sort have been in the business of making new kinds of heroes or heroes who weren't heroes in a traditional sense.

Miller's protagonists are different types of "warts and all" characters

In a way I think Miller is aware that this isn't his kind of story and Marlowe isn't necessarily his kind of man. He may not be doing it for the money either...he may be trying to take Chandler's character and, right or wrong, instill more right and wrong into these kinds of stories.

Frank Miller is actually kinda punk rock that way.

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I like to drink. I like to watch movies. I like to watch movies about drinking. I like to write about the movies I’ve watched, but only if I’ve had a drink first.

All text including the title "Booze Movies: The 100 Proof Film Guide" Copyright William T. Garver

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