The Adventures of Philip Marlowe
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Author Raymond Chandler’s hard-boiled gumshoe, Philip Marlowe was one of the most popular sleuths in the history of the crime fiction genre. Thrill to 12 half hour fully restored radio adventures in sparkling sound quality from Radio Archives.
"Get this and get it straight: crime is a sucker's road, and those who travel it end up in the gutter, the prison, or the grave..."
Author Raymond Chandler introduced mystery fans to hard-boiled gumshoe Philip Marlowe in his first novel, "The Big Sleep," in 1939. Chandler's "white knight in a trench coat" would go on to become one of the most popular sleuths in the history of the crime fiction genre, and the success of subsequent novels soon spread into other mass media as well - most notably the classic 1944 film noir, "Murder, My Sweet" (adapted from Chandler's "Farewell, My Lovely"), which starred former movie chorus boy Dick Powell as the detective. Powell was also instrumental in bringing the Marlowe character to radio, reprising his screen role (along with co-star Claire Trevor) in a "Lux Radio Theater" production of the film over CBS Radio on June 11, 1945.
Philip Marlowe's first regular weekly series, "The Adventures of Philip Marlowe", premiered over NBC Radio June 17, 1947 as a summer replacement for "The Bob Hope Show," and starred actor Van Heflin as Chandler's famous creation. The author wasn't particularly thrilled with either Heflin or the series, remarking to his contemporary Erle Stanley Gardner, creator of Perry Mason, that "it was thoroughly flat." The Marlowe character would then return to the airwaves on September 26, 1948 in a series for CBS with radio veteran Gerald Mohr as the titular sleuth. (Chandler grudgingly admitted satisfaction with this incarnation, remarking to one of the show's writers that Mohr's voice at least "packed personality".)
Mohr was an accomplished performer whose impressive acting range in radio covered both drama ("The Whistler," "Escape") and comedy (he had a recurring role on "Our Miss Brooks" as French teacher Jacques Monet), and he clearly made the role of Marlowe his own; a brash, forceful tough-guy who could readily let fly with either a fist or a wisecrack at a moment's notice. Although the series was not considered a prestige show, it was fortunate to have experienced professionals at the helm - people like producer-director Norman Macdonnell and music director Richard Aurandt. The scripts were tough, gritty and focused on hard-hitting "blood-and-thunder" action, with scribes like Gene Leavitt, Robert Mitchell, Mel Dinelli and Kathleen Hite contributing much of the program's dramatic content. The supporting players for Marlowe were also first-rate, showcasing many of the distinguished actors and actresses from Hollywood's Radio Row, including Lawrence Dobkin (who had a recurring role as Lt. Matthews), Jeff Corey (as Lt. Ybarra), Betty Lou Gerson, Lillian Buyeff, Junius Matthews and Harry Bartell, to name but a few. Roy Rowan capably handled the show's announcing chores.
Aside from brief periods of sponsorship on the part of Ford Motors and Wrigley's Gum, "The Adventures of Philip Marlowe" was mostly sustained by CBS throughout its two-year run. But, though it had difficulty landing an "angel" to pay the bills, the series did have a devoted fan in CBS patriarch William Paley. (Paley pressed upon both Macdonnell and CBS' director of programming Harry Ackerman to create a "Philip Marlowe in the old west," a request that was nurtured for several years before finally giving birth to "Gunsmoke" in 1952.) After returning to CBS for a brief summer run in 1951, Philip Marlowe folded up his radio tent - but fortunately for radio fans, most episodes of the series have survived today -- including the twelve shows in this third collection, restored and remastered by Radio Archives for your listening pleasure. Also included in this collection is a rare rehearsal program: "The Pirate's Bed" from August 4, 1950. The actual broadcast version of this show is not known to exist, but this rehearsal gives Marlowe fans a fascinating behind the scenes look at a typical program in the process of its creation.
The Bedside Manners
Tuesday, May 30, 1950 - 30:00 - CBS, sustained
The Uneasy Head
Tuesday, June 6, 1950 - 30:00 - CBS, sustained
The Face to Forget
Wednesday, June 14, 1950 - 30:00 - CBS, sponsored by Wrigley's Spearmint Chewing Gum
The Gold Cobra
Wednesday, June 21, 1950 - 30:00 - CBS, sponsored by Wrigley's Spearmint Chewing Gum
The Pelican's Roost
Wednesday, June 28, 1950 - 30:00 - CBS, sponsored by Wrigley's Spearmint Chewing Gum
The Girl from Pitchfork Corners
Wednesday, July 5, 1950 - 30:00 - CBS, sponsored by Wrigley's Spearmint Chewing Gum
The Iron Coffin
Wednesday, July 12, 1950 - 30:00 - CBS, sponsored by Wrigley's Spearmint Chewing Gum
The Last Wish
Wednesday, July 19, 1950 - 30:00 - CBS, sponsored by Wrigley's Spearmint Chewing Gum
The Glass Donkey
Friday, July 28, 1950 - 30:00 - CBS, sponsored by Wrigley's Spearmint Chewing Gum
The Pirate's Bed - Rehearsal
Friday, August 4, 1950 - 23:00 - CBS
The Quiet Magpie
Friday, August 11, 1950 - 30:00 - CBS, sustained
The Soft Spot
Friday, September 1, 1950 - 30:00 - CBS, sustained