Here’s some Thanksgiving noir—Guy Noir.
I’m still soliciting holiday noir suggestions, so let me know if there are any you enjoy on the holidays. Or any about the holidays that you enjoy at other parts of the year.
Posts tagged currently listening
Bullitt was based on the 1963 novel Mute Witness by Robert L. Pike (a pseudonym for crime writer Robert L. Fish). The BBC Radio 4 dramatization from 2009 retains the Bullitt title. This is somewhat odd, given that the protagonist of Mute Witness is Lt. Frank Clancy. (Though the fourth photo above shows that the novel itself was re-released as a movie tie-in paperback and titled Bullitt.)
Frank Clancy, played with aplomb by Jason Isaacs, doesn’t have a Mustang. He doesn’t have Jacqueline Bisset. He isn’t the King of Cool. He isn’t even in San Francisco. Put simply, Frank Clancy is no Frank Bullitt. The liberties taken by the film Bullitt played out brilliantly. But Mute Witness (under whatever title) is no slouch, either. It’s a taut, caustic, hardboiled police procedural. San Francisco was a beautiful setting for a car chase, but New York works just perfectly for the noirish novel and the radio play based on it.
This will never unseat the masterpiece that is Bullitt. But I think any fan of crime fiction should know the source material for the 1968 McQueen vehicle (no pun intended). Before Bullitt was cool, he was a hardboiled New York City cop named Clancy. I guess he was cool all along.
Get this, and get it straight: crime is a sucker’s road and those who travel it wind up in the gutter, the prison or the grave. There’s no other end—but they never learn.
Howard Duff as Sam Spade in radio’s The Adventures of Sam Spade, which ran from 1946 to 1951. Steve Dunne replaced Duff in 1950.
As I mentioned earlier, posts may be slow for a while. But I have passed post #90, and post #100 will appear soon once my new computer shows up. Dispatches from Noir has been considerably more successful than I imagined when I started posting these little anecdotes. So I plan on commemorating the occasion. To kill two birds with one stone, I will combine post #100 with indulging my fondness for old-time radio programs.
I will read one of my previous posts in my best, most cynical voiceover. And I’d like your input. Which post would you most prefer to hear me read? I’ve been told I have a decent-sounding voice, so let’s see how well it suits the hardboiled genre. Just peruse the “writing” tag and let me know which you’d most like to hear. Feel free to reply to this post or drop your suggestion in my ask box. I’ll tally up the votes and read/act out the winner for my centennial post.