The Old Acquaintance with Philip Marlowe!
(At their yearly meet-up, Detective Dexter Roland and Phillip Marlowe discuss a strange case involving a wedding on New Year’s Eve, and a whole lot more, from The Adventures of Phillip Marlowe, oiginally broadcast 26 December 1948.)
I’d known Phil since pretty early in his career, and we had long ago made it a habit to hunker down each time the year turned over to talk about our work throughout the year. But it wasn’t until he actually showed up this year that I thought I would see him, and even worse, it wasn’t until he began to tell me about the New Year’s Wedding that went wrong that I really began to feel bad.
I have to admit, The Adventures of Philip Marlowe is probably my favorite Old Time Radio program. I’m a fan of the character in nearly any medium, but my love of noir and pulp detective novels doesn’t really have any bearing on my love of the show. There is something about the way Gerald Mohr delivers the lines, and gives emphasis to the reflective moments when Phil is putting together a case. I could listen to these shows endlessly and find something in them to admire. This show represents Old Time Radio at its finest, and while I love the other shows that are out there too, this one really speaks to me.
The character of Marlowe might, in many ways, be the archetype for noir figure we most often associate with detectives from the pulp era. He embodies almost all of the tropes, has a slew of authorized (and unauthorized) works published about him, has been portrayed by Humphrey Bogart, and is endlessly iterated by every Mickey Spillane knock-off that has come in the years since. While Sam Spade meets some of the criteria for being the most well known archetype, Marlowe only beats him out in that Dashiell Hammett didn’t published that many Spade stories.
The best qualities of Philip Marlowe are the ones that we all look for in a good protagonist: he’s tough, he’s clever, he’s good with the ladies, he drinks like a fish and smokes like a chimney, and he’d usually not doing too well, and distrusted by the cops. But all of these mechanics – that might seem typical now – were codified by this character, and the things we think are trite were actually new when this guy was on the scene.
So, sit back with some bourbon, and enjoy this vintage tale of a New Year’s Eve that will keep you glued to your seat.
And, thanks for sticking with us this year. We got back on our feet, and have come in swinging, and I’m excited about what 2016 will have to offer. Certainly, more shows, and that is always something we can get behind.
The Old Acquaintance with Phillip Marlowe!
Side A: Confidence To Kill
01.) New Year’s Even In A Haunted House * Raymond Scott * Reckless Nights and Turkish Twilights
02.) Coming To See You * Krypton Tunes * Killed By Death Vol. 24
03.) Absent Friends * Fred Frith * Cheap At Half The Price
04.) Out Of Jail * They Might Be Giants * John Henry
05.) Corpse Pose * Unwound * “Corpse Pose” b/w “Everything Is Weird”
06.) Confidence To Kill * Mink Deville * Once Upon A Time Vol. 11: New York & New Jersey ’78
Side B: Can’t Stop Now
07.) Can’t Stop Now * The Reducers * Messthetics Vol. 1
08.) Rage * Ellen Cherry Charles * The Cherry Orchard
09.) Let’s Go Away * The Wipers * Is This Real?
10.) Hit The Wall * The Agenda! * Start The Panic!
11.) Good Night * The Beatles * The Beatles
12.) Night Beat * The Phantoms * Lux And Ivy’s Favorites Vol. 8