After delivering a solid hit with his recent compilation of the top 100 mystery books, the writer who alternately signs himself “Cavershamragu” and “Sergio” has proposed a list of the top 20 private eye movies in Tipping My Fedora. Said rundown includes--in the order of their theatrical release--The Thin Man (1934), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Harper (1966), The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), The Long Goodbye (1973), Chinatown (1974), and Twilight (1998).
Although I’ve never seen three of Sergio’s recommendations--Kiss Me Deadly (1955), Night Moves (1975), and Brick (2005)--I agree that the rest are winners.
Two pictures I’d have found places for, had I put such a catalogue together myself, would have been Marlowe, the 1969 James Garner flick in which he played Raymond Chandler’s most famous protagonist, and P.J., the 1968 movie featuring George Peppard as a congenitally down-and-out gumshoe trying to protect a millionaire’s curvaceous mistress. But since I didn’t go to the effort of assembling this list, I can hardly complain that my opinion wasn’t taken into account.
READ MORE: “Max Allan Collins’ 15 Best Private Eye Movies”; “Dick Lochte’s Top 20 Private Eye Movies,” by Nicolas Pillai (Squeezegut Alley); “Best Detective Movies,” by Edward Piercy (Pat Maginess: Private Eye).