First the Bard, and now Marlowe. Having bastardised Shakespeare, to Oscar-winning effect, jobbing screenwriter Tom Stoppard has fun dicking with Raymond Chandler for this HBO production of Chandler's last, unfinished novel (completed posthumously by Robert B Parker). Caan is hardly many people's idea of Philip Marlowe, but then this is a Marlowe with a difference: grey haired, worn out and paunch-drunk, he's definitely seen better days, even if he still carries his integrity intact. He's also got a brand new wife in tow after a whirlwind romance in Mexico. She's a knockout, loaded, and keen to retire to Daddy's wedding present home in Poodle Springs - when is Hollywood going to wake up to Dina (Starship Troopers) Meyer? The plot is satisfyingly opaque, drawing on those Chandler staples of dirty pictures, spoiled rich girls and philandering husbands, and Stoppard/Rafelson/Parker work a nifty new angle by playing up the early '60s timeframe. It's Chinatown-lite, and as Elliott Gould's more jaded Marlowe would say, 'It's okay with me.'
Cast and crew
Joe Don Baker