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.