Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Philip Marlowe on Film: Death Be Not Deadly (1987)

Here's Noir icon Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe in this Saturday Night Live spoof (aired November 14, 1987) of hardboiled detective films. It even begins with a variation on Mitchum's own opening monologue and music from 1975's Farewell, My Lovely which was reviewed on this very blog.

Mitchum was as laconic an actor as there will ever be, but he had a mischievous-- or "mischievious", as my 12th grade English teacher used to say; is it any wonder I'm barely literate-- way about him; remember, this is the same guy who released a Calypso album with him singing on it. I like how he still wears his Texas-sized eyeglasses, which came to define the man almost as much as his cool persona. I've threatened my wife with the promise of wearing this kind of eyewear myself--I'll let you know how that goes...or maybe not.

In Death Be Not Deadly, the private eye genre is lampooned by way of Big Bob's narration, which he simply must do in order for this to be a private eye piece. Saturday Night Live's Kevin Nealon is also game here as a snotty punk. Enjoy.


10 comments:

  1. And....
    Ha ha ha! That's a funny clip. Love the voice overs!

    I love Marlowe more than any other fictional character out there. Now I'm in the mood to read!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love Marlowe, too! He's an awesome character. I can't imagine anyone playing Marlowe better than Humphrey Bogart did, but I want to see how Mitchum played him.

    ReplyDelete
  3. IMO, he was in some great film noirs but I always thought Mitchum was overrated as an actor.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Really? Wow. I always thought that Mitchum was criminally underrated. It wasn't until The Winds of War that people realized how good he really was. Yes, he had his share of "walk throughs", but the man worked for fifty years and did a lot of less-than-stellar stuff, though I'll watch him in anything.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey C.K. Great Post. Here's a big fat rasberry for you for never acknowledging my visits to your great blog.

    Keri

    alwayscurtsywhenyousneeze.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Keri: I'm not even going to acknow--...huh?, oh wait, thanks! :D

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mitchum was one of those specimens that have long since become extinct: his 100% virility and an air of existential indifference about him were enough to fill the screen, even when he simply "walked through".

    ReplyDelete
  8. Stella: Well put! I'm a-gonna steal it! :D

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks, I feel flattered! ;-)

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.