I mentioned earlier that I had seen the 1986 DVD collection of the Phil Marlowe, Private Eye. I received an e-mail in December asking me about the set. The HBO series starred Powers Boothe as Philip Marlowe, the quintessential gumshoe.
This is pure enjoyment. If you are looking for classy dialogue, you will not find it here. In one episode homicide Lt. Magee (William Kearns) complains that it is, “hotter’n a buzzard’s crotch”, and then offers Marlowe the use of his much used “sweat rag”. Lt. Vincent (Violets) Magee is in every episode. Annie Riordan (Kathryn Leigh Scott) appears in several episodes. Annie is Marlowe’s trusted gal-pal confidant, although it is never stated what their relationship is, it is clear that they are past the ‘just friends’ stage.
There are eleven episodes on three discs. All episodes are based on Raymond Chandler short stories.
Smart-Aleck Kill-1983. A football hero turned movie star is dead. Why does the public believe that he is still alive? Marlowe smells murder.
The Pencil-1983. When the mob sends you a pencil, it means you are going to be erased. Can Marlowe help Sal Vacaro escape his doom?
Nevada Gas-1983. A crooked lawyer has been given a dose of ‘Nevada Gas”. The same kind that used in the gas chamber--who wanted him dead?
Finger Man-1983. When Marlowe plays bodyguard, his client is killed and the heat on Marlowe. Who’s setting him up for the fall? Gayle Hunnicutt appears in this episode.
The King in Yellow-1983. King Leopardi is rude, loud, a womanizer, and radio gold. He’s a dandy dresser, but he dies in his yellow pajamas. The list of suspects is long.
Pickup on Noon Street-1986. An innocent young girl comes to the Hollywood to make it big by meeting the right people; instead she ends up on Noon Street being someone’s patsy. Still she has stars in her eyes and they may be the death of her. Robin Givens appears as Token Ware.
Guns at Cyrano’s-1986. Someone is trying to get Duke to take a dive in the ring. When he doesn’t there’s trouble. Jack Ireland appears as Cyrano.
Trouble is My Business. Gerald Jetter’s rich uncle wants him to stop gambling and to get rid of his present girlfriend. He hires Marlowe to help him rectify the situation, but that’s easier said that done.
Spanish Blood-1986. Spanish Delaguerra was a good guy, and now he’s dead. Marlowe is determined to find out who killed his friend and why.
Blackmailers Don’t Shoot-1986. Marlowe is hired to protect a screen goddess, Rhonda Farr, but she’s kidnapped immediately. Has Marlowe been duped?
Red Wind-1986. When Marlowe witnesses a shooting, he gets involved with beautiful women, charlatans, swindler’s and crooked politicians. It’s night that he would rather forget.
If you are traveling, do not plan to take the discs without their cases because the discs are identified as Disc One, etc. Also, the episodes not named, they are simply episode one, and so on. Therefore, the disc covers are necessary to know the name of each episode. In addition, the last episode synopsis on the disc cover states, “She’s Lou Harmer’s….” Actually, the name should be Lou “Harger”. It is a small thing, but it is an editing error. Finally, I found these discs are visually better when not viewed in full screen. Still for devout Boothe-Philip Marlowe fans, these are minor annoyances. They will find that this is a set well worth having. I recommend it.
Recommended PI Sets