Tony Reseck

Created by Raymond Chandler

“At one o’clock in the morning, Carl, the night porter, turned down the last of three table lamps in the main lobby of the Windermere Hotel. The blue carpet darkened a shade or two and the walls drew back into remoteness. The chairs filled with shadowy loungers. In the corners were memories like cobwebs.”

Bruno Kirby as Tony Reseck.

As far as I know, TONY RESECK only appeared in one story, Chandler’s classic, “I’ll Be Waiting”, but it was a memorable appearance, marking Chandler first (and only) sale to the “slicks” — in this case, The Saturday Evening Post.

Tony is markedly different from Chandler’s other detectives, who are either Philip Marlowe or Philip Marlowe-clones (Mallory, Carmady, John Dalmas, etc.), and the story itself is certainly less violent than his pulp work. But what the hell — Chandler probably made more money for this one story than for all the stories he published in the pulps. 

Tony is “a short, pale, paunchy, middle-aged man with long delicate fingers” who wears an elk’s tooth on his watch chain, and works as a hotel dick at the Windermere Hotel. He has an ear for classical music, believing, “Mozart was the greatest man that ever lived–and Toscanini is his prophet.”

Although mild-mannered, Tony is a brave little guy, putting it on the line for an ex-con who’s staying at the Windermere, while “the trouble boys” are waiting outside to finish him off.

And yes, there’s a dame involved. The delectable and mysterious Eve Cressy. Is she the one who needs saving, or is she playing Tony for a sap?

“I’ll Be Waiting” has been included in a few recent anthologies, and Tom Hanks directed and appeared in an excellent adaptation of the story for the TV series, Fallen Angels, which starred Bruno Kirby (as Tony), Dan Hedaya, and Marg Helgenberger.

Both the story, and the adaptation are well worth checking out.


  • “I didn’t think much of the story when I wrote it — I felt it was artificial, untrue and emotionally dishonest like all slick fiction.”
    — Chandler griping (as usual) in a letter to George Harmon Coxe.


  • “I’ll Be Waiting” (October 14, 1939, Saturday Evening Post)


  • The Library of America has made available “I’ll Be Waiting” as part of their Story of the Week, and to promote their collection, Raymond Chandler: Stories & Early Novels (1995, The Library of America, 1995). Originally published in the October 14, 1939, issue of The Saturday Evening Post and reprinted in The Simple Art of Murder (1950).


    (1961, BBC)
    6 30-minute episodes
    An anthology series of short plays. No copies are known to exist. Too bad. It would have been interesting to see the Beeb’s presumably low-budget take on Chandler.

    • “I’ll Be Waiting” (August 25, 1961)
      Based on the short story by Raymond Chandler
      Dramatised for television by Michael Imison and Troy Kennedy-MartinRichard Lupino as TONY RESECK
      and Patricia Moffatt as Eve Cressy
      Also starring Chuck Julian, Lee Crawford, Alan Tilvern, Louise Glennie, Robert Arden
    (1993-95, Showtime)
    Half-hour drama anthology
    Series creator: William Horberg
    Directors:  Peter Bogdanovich, Tom Cruise, Alfonso Cuarón, Tom Hanks, Agnieszka Holland, Phil Joanou, Jonathan Kaplan, Michael Lehmann, Jim McBride, Steven Soderbergh
    Producers: William Horberg, Lindsay Doran, Steve Golin
    Co-producer:David Wisnievitz
    Executive Producer: Sydney Pollack
    Theme composed by Elmer Bernstein
    Original music by Peter Bernstein
    Cinematography by Robert Brinkmann, Emmanuel Lubezki, Declan Quinn, Peter Suschitzky
    A Mirage Enterprises/Propaganda Films/Showtime Networks Inc. Production
    Starring Lynette Walden as FAY FRIENDLY

    • “I’ll Be Waiting” (1993)
      Based on the short story by Raymond Chandler
      Teleplay by C. Gaby Mitchell
      Directed by Tom Hanks
      Starring Bruno Kirby as TONY RESECK
      and Marg Helgenberger as Eve Cressy
      Also starring Dan Hedaya, Jon Polito, Dick Miller, Peter Scolari, Tom Hanks, Manny Perry


Respectfully submitted by Frank Patterson, with additional info by Kevin Burton Smith.

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