Poodle Springs


Rating 2½

Directed by Bob Rafelson

Written by Tom Stoppard from the book by Raymond Chandler and Robert B Parker

Starring James Caan,
Dina Meyer, Brian Cox and Joe Don Baker

‘Poodle Springs’ was the last Phillip Marlowe novel written by Raymond Chandler. It was actually unfinished at the time of his death in 1959 and subsequently completed by Robert B Parker, the writer who created the character featured in the TV show ‘Spenser: For Hire’.

Tom Stoppard wrote the screenplay for this film, produced by Sydney Pollack for the HBO cable TV channel and directed by Bob Rafelson. James Caan plays the role of an aging Marlowe and Dina Meyer plays his new wife. Brian Cox and Joe Don Baker are also among the cast.

Set in 1963, it’s a decent addition to the list of Marlowe films. Certainly, it’s no ‘Big Sleep’ or ‘The Long Goodbye’ –- or even the underrated 1968 James Garner film ‘Marlowe’. Caan is reasonably effective in the lead role, playing a Marlowe who is old and tired and somewhat stranded out of his time, but there is no chemistry at all between him and Dina Meyer, and ultimately her role really amounts to little or nothing. Bogart and Bacall they are not.


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