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More than any other writer, Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) raised detective stories from the realm of pulp fiction to literature. Chandler's cynical private eye Philip Marlowe set the standard for rough, brooding heroes with strong moral conviction in a cruel, indifferent world. Gene Phillips explores the intersection of Chandler's fiction and film, from his novels and short stories to his Hollywood screenplays. Through interviews with Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, and Edward Dmytryk, Phillips probes Chandler's notoriously difficult personality and demonstrates the debt that both detective fiction and today's neo-noir films owe to Chandler's stark vision.
In this comprehensive study of Raymond Chandler's screenplays, author Gene D. Phillips analyzes several films, including two versions of THE BIG SLEEP and three versions of FAREWELL, MY LOVELY. It includes plot synopses and a brief biography of Chandler that illuminates his feelings about Hollywood.