Quite surprising that Chandler's The Little Sister - if memory serves, the only Marlowe novel to deal at all with the Hollywood film colony - had never been filmed before. This snappy and stylish update is certainly watchable, even if it lacks the definitive status of The Big Sleep (first version) and The Long Goodbye. Garner's rumpled charm is engaging enough as he takes on a missing persons case and finds himself sinking into ever more murky waters, while Paul Bogart's solid direction and some fine supporting performances (particularly O'Connor) help to create an atmosphere of almost universal corruptability. Surprisingly, even the inclusion of some fashionable martial arts - courtesy of Bruce Lee - actually works rather well.
Cast and crew
James Garner Gayle Hunnicutt Carroll O'Connor Rita Moreno Sharon Farrell William Daniels Jackie Coogan HM Wynant Bruce Lee