Thursday, June 20, 2013

Marlowe and the Missing Body

Several years ago, I wrote on this page about the 1959-1960 ABC-TV series Philip Marlowe, which starred Philip Carey in the role of Raymond Chandler’s cynical Los Angeles private eye. Episodes of that Tuesday night program ran only 30 minutes long, and just 26 were shot. I’d never seen a single one of those--until today, when I discovered the March 8, 1960, episode of Philip Marlowe, “Murder Is a Grave Affair,” posted on YouTube. You can see it here.

This installment guest stars Connie Hines (later to join the cast of the 1960s sitcom Mister Ed) as a young woman apparently led on by a duplicitous Hollywood director, who also happens to be married. She’s soon found in her apartment, dead as a result of leaking gas. Was it an accident or murder? Also appearing in the show are Jack Weston, William Schallert, and Malcolm Atterbury.

Carey doesn’t really capture Marlowe’s character, but if you’ve never watched the series, this episode is definitely worth a viewing.


michael said...

Earlier I did a review of the episode and revealed some of the background of the making of the series.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Thanks for letting me know, Michael.


Dick Lochte said...

I disagree with the idea that Carey wasn't a good choice for Marlowe. IMO, he comes the closest of any who've played Marlowe to embody the character. I'm old enough to remember seeing the show, but, aside from the one ep that's been available, all I can remember is "The Hunger," which Charles Beaumont adapted from his famous story. (spoiler follows) As I recall, Marlowe is called by his aunt to a small town where a serial rapist has eluded the local cops. There he meets a pretty but lonely spinster. A subplot involves the cops and townspeople focusing on a mentally challenged townie. Marlowe keeps his eye on the spinster who's behaving oddly. The rapist eventually attacks her and Marlowe stops him. He thinks he's saved the day, but the spinster's last words are, and here I'm pretty sure I'm correct, "You saved me, Marlowe, and I'll never forgive you for it."

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Thanks, Dick. I hope Philip Marlowe will be released someday on DVD, so we can all check out more of Carey's performance.


Gary Phillips said...

You can hear the influence of the Peter Gunn and M Squad soundtracks with the show's jazz intro score, including bongos. I wonder was the Paul Stewart who directed this episode the actor - and future voice of Mightor?