A case of mistaken identity

In Raymond Chandler’s novels or the 1947-51 radio series they inspired, Philip Marlowe wasn’t the kind of detective who plays for the headlines.

“What’s the news in that?” he asks at the end of this 1950 adventure titled “The Big Book.”

So far I can’t name a single episode of his radio adventures with a substantial newspaper reporter character. I haven’t yet listened to all 105 half-hour tales available at the Internet Archive’s Old Time Radio Researchers collection, but so far the closest I have found is an adventure in which he looks for a newsboy’s missing uncle.

So why is “The Big Book” here in a blog about newspaper reporter and editor characters? Because, in it an Italian shoemaker — who once was an artist and also can bind large volumes in leather — easily mistakes Marlowe for a newspaper reporter, and their dialogue is interesting.

Given the location of Marlowe’s office, I suspect there are episodes with Hollywood publicity agents, but I’d rather stick with the working press.

Oops… In the background while I was editing this, I just heard the phrase “a Tribune reporter dodging bullets” while Marlowe was investigating a diner owner’s wife who had gone missing. I guess I’ll be back to write about “Friend from Detroit” eventually.

About Bob Stepno

mild-mannered reporter who fell deeper into computers and the Web during three trips through graduate school in the 1980s and 1990s, then began teaching journalism, media studies and Web production, most recently as a faculty member at Radford University.
This entry was posted in 1940s, 1950s, detectives, reporters. Bookmark the permalink.

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