Friday, June 29, 2012

Forgotten Books: The Blue Dahlia -- Raymond Chandler

Some people might argue with the blurb on the back cover of this book. I for one don't think it's Raymond Chandler's masterpiece, but it's a script that was made into a fairly entertaining movie. This Popular Library paperback reprints the hardcover edition and contains all the good stuff, including the brief memoir by John Houseman, who apparently owned the only copy of the script, an editorial note by Matthew J. Bruccoli that notes some interesting things about the screenplay (Chandler was apparently pretty careless about the plotting), an afterword by Bruccoli about Chandler and Hollywood, and a brief appendix. In the middle of the book are some B&W photos, one of Chandler and the others of the lobby cards for the film.

Probably all you Chandler fans have a copy of this one already, but for the curious among you, there are fairly cheap copies available on the Internet.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Bill - I've read about the script and seen the movie several times but never come across this published edition, so will seek it out. There is a very amusing radio play by Ray Connolly, LOST FORTNIGHT based on Houseman's memoirs, about Chandler's frought experience writing of the script.

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  2. You may be right about Chandler's loose plotting. The possibly apocryphal story goes that when William Faulkner & Leigh Brackett were working on the script for "The Big Sleep," they couln't figure out who killed the chauffeur, so they called Chandler to ask him and he told them he didn't know either.

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