Facts about Philip Marlowe
Philip Marlowe Biography
Philip Marlowe is the most famous fictional detective and icon of the “hard-boiled” school of 20th-century mystery writing.
The creation of author Raymond Chandler, Philip Marlowe is a private detective with his own small practice in Los Angeles (where Raymond Chandler himself had lived). Marlowe is a smart and tough lone wolf with a sense of honor: he won’t take divorce cases, doesn’t like being pushed around, amuses himself at night with old chess problems, and never gives up on a mystery.
Philip Marlowe appears in seven complete novels by Chandler, beginning with The Big Sleep (published 1939) and ending with Playback (1958). The full list is:
- The Big Sleep (1939)
- Farewell, My Lovely (1940)
- The High Window (1942)
- The Lady in the Lake (1943)
- The Little Sister (1949)
- The Long Goodbye (1953)
- Playback (1958)
A Philip Marlowe novel left unfinished at Raymond Chandler’s death, Poodle Springs, was finished by mystery writer Robert B. Parker and published in 1989. Other new novels, written by modern authors and sanctioned by the Marlowe estate, have followed in the years since. Various TV and radio series have also featured the Philip Marlowe character, though they were not written by Chandler.
In the movies, Philip Marlowe was most famously played by Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep (1946), and by Robert Mitchum in Farewell, My Lovely (1975) and The Big Sleep (1978)… Philip Marlowe was also played by James Garner in the 1969 film Marlowe, which co-starred Bruce Lee.
4 Good Links
- Swell introduction to the character; don't miss the links to Marlowe on film, radio and TV
- The famous essay that outlines Chandler's rules of the rogue
- Nice little essay by writer Tom Stoppard, from 1998
- An appreciation from the bookworm site Spiked Online