Joe Peters (Roadblock)

Created by Richard Landau (1914–93) and Geoffrey Homes Pseudonym of Daniel Mainwaring (1902-77) In Roadblock (1951), a nifty little noir full of robbery, murder, sexual obsession and a bunch of other neat stuff, JOE PETERS (Charles McGraw), a Los Angeles-based insurance investigaor who sounds like he gargles with old car parts, becomes involved with Diane … Continue reading Joe Peters (Roadblock)

Jeff “Red” Bailey (Out of the Past)

Created by Geoffrey Homes Pseudonym of Daniel Mainwaring (1902-77) "I was at the bottom of the barrel and I was scraping it." -- Jeff Bailey "RED" BAILEY (JEFF in the film) is the world-weary, sleepy-eyed private eye who just wants to forget, in the classic film noir Out of the Past (1947, RKO), based on … Continue reading Jeff “Red” Bailey (Out of the Past)

Leonard Shelby (Memento)

Created by Jonathan Nolan Adapted for the screen by Christopher Nolan ''I can't make new memories.'' Seen Memento yet? It's a truly mind-blowing film that should get as much exposure as possible. The main character, LEONARD SHELBY, is (or at least was) a P.I. (well, actually, an insurance investigator). But I think this qualifies him … Continue reading Leonard Shelby (Memento)

James Reardon (The Killers)

Created by Ernest Hemingway Adapted by Anthony Veiller It feels like some sort of cheat to credit Ernest Hemingway as the "creator" of hard-working tough guy insurance dick JAMES REARDON here, since Papa's snippet of a short story (originally published in 1927), didn't even have a detective--by any name--in it. It simply related the tale … Continue reading James Reardon (The Killers)

Looking for the Connections

Reconsidering Altman's "The Long Goodbye" I think Altman's rendition of The Long Goodbye gets a bad rap. Fans of Raymond Chandler's poetic novels and Bogart's iconic portrayal find Elliot Gould as a smart-ass, sleepy "Rip Van Marlowe" too much of a change in character. Gould's Philip Marlowe is a man who fell asleep in the … Continue reading Looking for the Connections

J.J. McGonigle (The Come-On)

Created by Whitman Chambers(1896-1968) He's not the star of this rarely seen B-flick, but Jesse White (TV's Maytag repairman for over thirty years) as smarmy, corrupt private eye J.J. McGONIGLE is definitely worth checking out in The Come-On, a twisty/turny 1956 film noir from second string studio Allied Artists. Anne Baxter plays the hottie here; … Continue reading J.J. McGonigle (The Come-On)

My Scrapbook: Original Pressbook for Manhandled

My Scrapbook Original Pressbook for Manhandled (1949, Paramount Pictures) If you're not familiar with the 1949 film noir Manhandled, it's about time you checked it out. The 1949 film noir is no lost classic, despite a decent cast (Dorothy Lamour, Sterling Hayden, etc.), but Dan Duryea, as private detective Karl Benson, is an absolute joy to … Continue reading My Scrapbook: Original Pressbook for Manhandled

Karl Benson (Manhandled)

Created by L.S. Goldsmith “You’re not talking to a cluck Charlie. You’re talking to a guy who knows all the angles.” Dan Duryea plays gum-popping KARL BENSON, a crooked ex-cop reduced to doing repo jobs, divorce frame-ups and assorted other sordid sidelines in Lewis Foster's preposterous but entertaining 1949 noir, Manhandled. The flick does have … Continue reading Karl Benson (Manhandled)

Albert Arnett (Born to Kill)

Created by James Gunn Pseudonym of John Darcy Cannon (1920-66) "It's quite all right, Mrs. Brent. I am a man of integrity, but I'm always willing to listen to an interesting offer." -- Arnett maskes his pitch to Helen in Born to Kill The 1947 noir classic Born to Kill from RKO is not a … Continue reading Albert Arnett (Born to Kill)

Brendan Frye (Brick)

Created by Rian Johnson "The ape blows or I clam." Much like The Big Lebowski, Rian Johnson's Brick (2005) is a P.I. film that has everything you'd want in a P.I. film -- except a P.I. And like the Coen Brother's Dude,  Brick's BRENDAN FRYE (in an amazing performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a loose cannon, … Continue reading Brendan Frye (Brick)