Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ross


Harry... Lew... Alright, they don't rhyme, but I think they're really the same don't you? The same character that is. You know Paul Newman playing Lew Harper in the films Harper and The Drowning Pool from the Ross MacDonald books and Paul Newman playing Harry Ross in 1998's Twilight penned by Richard Russo and Robert Benton? Obviously, they'd have run inot licensing problems naming him Lew Harper, but he's the same guy right? Watch all three and lemme know. I mean, c'mon they named him Ross, (as in MacDonald, get it?). Anyway, I posit this theory as well as cast my vote for cinema's best Philip Marlowe over at Ransom Notes. It's Elliot Gould from Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye in case you didn't already know.

Yes it is. Ross and Monica's dad.

Speaking of that particular Raymond Chandler book, (his best by the way... Yes it is), I'm of the opinion that James Crumley's seminal Last Good Kiss is essentially a riff on that one... Yes it is. Which is not to take anything away from big Jim, it's a hell of a book, but... Homage - call it homage. I guess my point is, originality is highly overrated. At least when it comes to plot. Plot is like a musical genre - you don't have to re-invent the damn thing to make a good or even great book. That's my opinion... yeah.

Getting back to Russo, he'll be in St. Louis June 4 and this morning I received confirmation from Sean Doolittle, that he'll be here for N@B June 3 along Pinckney Benedict and Laura Benedict. Awesome. I'll get my copy of Blood, Guts & Whiskey signed... I hope. Still haven't got my copy in the mail. Dammit. I wanna read that beast, sounds great. John Rector alas, will not be in attendance.

12 comments:

Scott Phillips said...

I have it on good authority from one intimately involved in "Twilight" that it was an intentional homage. Not saying who, though. Just that it was someone mentioned in your post.

Brian said...

The Long Goodbye represents everything that was great about filmaking in the 1970's. It may not be perfect but it's still probably my all time favorite movie. Of course there are quite a few people who hate it with a passion.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Gould's The Long Goodbye and James Garner's Marlowe are my two favorite Philip Marlowe films.

Cheers,
Jeff

Laura Benedict said...

Yay!

jedidiah ayres said...

Scott - I should've also made it explicit that TWILIGHT was definitely HARPER not ARCHER. Paul Newman made ol' Lew a much bigger SOB than MacDonald's boyscout ever was alowed to be.

Brian - who hates The Long Goodbye? Kick em for me next time you see em.

Jeff - Garner does have a couple nice moments with Bruce Lee in that one.

Laura - You'll be in mighty fine company

Paul D. Brazill said...

Although I like The Long Goodbye mate, I know it's loathed by many, as Brian said. Altman was a sloppy film maker and I'm not a great fan but I think he got away with it in that film. The best Marlowe was Albert Finney in Gumshoe.

jedidiah ayres said...

Paul - never saw Gumshoe. I'll look for it.

Paul D. Brazill said...

Jed, the Gumshoe line was just a line. Gumshoe is a racking film, though. Stats alber Finney as a bingo caller obsessed with Bogart, Marlow & Spade.

jedidiah ayres said...

Paul - now THAT rings a bell. I think I did see that one - Stephen Frears or somesuchbody yeah?

Paul D. Brazill said...

That's the lad!

Heath said...

Gould was fun as Marlowe, I agree. But I have to go with Mitchum, even though he was waaay too old to play the character by the time he actually did. When I read Chandler now, I picture a young Mitchum.

jedidiah ayres said...

Oh Heath - I PICTURE Mitchum too, but I thought he was dreadful in reality... I dunno, it really bummed me out. We've still got Night of the Hunter, Out of the Past, Yakuza and Friends of Eddie Coyle