The Big Sleep
General Sternwood's daughters came in both the colours of trouble, blonde and brunette, and they had all the usual vices. With four million dollars behind them, blackmail was only a matter of time. And blackmail can be murder.
The High Window
Linda Conquest was very tough, very kissable, and very missing, along with one very valuable old coin. But for some reason the interested parties didn't seem too interested in finding either of them. Especially when the trail led to the underworld and beyond. And by then Marlowe was knee deep in dead men.
© and (P)1999, 2001 BBC Worldwide Ltd
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"Brilliant Very Highly Recommended"
These are two of a set of plays done by the BBC with the same cast, there are I think six in all, originally broadcast in 1999.
The casting is brilliant, Ed Bishop as Philip Marlow is his finest role ever in my opinion (he was in Space 1999 and was often the token American in many dramas, but is in fact Canadian).
The atmosphere of the 1930's/40's is wonderfully done and the incidental music fits the period to a tee. All the plays have a line of humor running through them, which, if you have never read Raymond Chandler will have you laughing out loud.
The story lines can be confusing, but famously even the author got the plot line confused, just go with the flow and enjoy.
Proper American crime literature at its best and the BBC producing a rare very high quality set of plays which will never age.
In my opinion the High Window is the weakest of the set, and The Big Sleep is not the best, but these are well worth a listen. I re-visit them on many occasions. Also lookout for The Little Sister and Farewell My lovely. Enjoy
"This oozes class....."
This dramatised version of Chandler's brilliant creation, Marlowe, is Ed Bishop's finest hour.
The whole production oozes class: the casting, the music, the whole audible experience captures the listener and you are in the tension of the moment.
It is so atmospheric you can feel the heat of the day, the whir of the fans.
Chandler's writing is so crisp, so sparse and the sleaze of Bishop's drawl is spine tingling.
Better reviewers than I could talk of the merits of the plots - I would just say buy it. Hear it. Shower afterwards.
This production really creates the atmosphere of California and the raw energy of America between the wars. Great reading and voices.
"Wonderful One Liners"
These BBC dramatisations almost perfectly hit the spot. From the very start, the American drawl and wonderfully appropriate music, transport one into Philip Marlowe?s office with the rain pouring down like steel rods on the sidewalk. His one liners are a delight with the style of writing and scene conjouring being always more important than the plot itself. The High Window is the lesser of the two but both are most enjoyable, if a little expensive for the running time. My only real negative criticism is that I find the stories to be slightly over abridged, leaving one to make a few unexpected leaps of imagination and understanding. However, I will definitely listen again and again ? just for those one liners
"Sound & Vision"
These two plays bring to the ears what the eyes remember of the black and white films of Bogart & Bacall, with Philip Marlow's hard-boiled detective on top form.
It is fun to hear the portrayal of the different characters in both these plays. This is just the thing for lazy, rainy day listening.
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