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Showing posts with the label Raymond Chandler

September 7: Molle Mystery Theatre Debuts

Today marks the 1943 debut of the thrilling crime show Molle Mystery Theater (later to be known simply as Mystery Theatre).  Its debut episode splashed onto the airwaves with some fanfare. Fans and media members alike were drawn to its premise and promise of skimming just the cream of classic mystery stories from the greatest authors. Airing an adaptation of Poe 's Tell-Tale Heart marked an auspicious beginning. Molle Mystery Theatre would go on to adapt the works of Raymond Chandler, W.W. Jackos, Sax Rohmer, Wier Mitchell and others.

July 23: Happy Birthday, Raymond Chandler

Raymond Chandler was born on this day in 1888. The names of his famous novels may not be as recognizable as that of his most famous protagonist, the detective Philip Marlowe . Marlowe, a sort of template for jaded detectives , was introduced in Chandler's novel The Big Sleep. The memorable character got his own radio show, The Adventures of Philip Marlowe , in 1947. Gerald Mohr is the best-known of the voices of Marlowe. Rayond Chandler himself was a self-taught writer, entering the craft after losing his job with the Dabney Oil Syndicate. He was a loyal and avid Los Angelino, making that city essentially a character in his prose. The hard-boiled detective story was a staple of old-time radio , and one of its best practitioners was Raymond Chandler.

July 1: Happy Birthday, James M. Cain

Fans of old-time radio have no doubt enjoyed adaptations of the gritty fiction of James M. Cain . Cain, whose 1892 birthday we commemorate today, wrote Mildred Pierce, Double Indemnity, and The Postman Always Rings Twice. These classics were adapted into bracing radio dramas by such programs as Screen Guild Theater and Lux Radio Theater .  Cain was a tough customer whose contribution to the "hard-boiled" noir genre was a bit different from those of writers like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler , since he wrote about the criminal rather than the detective. He also explored human depravity, applying keen psychological insight. He was drawn to the unsympathetic character and often featured one manipulative criminal seducing another into a web of evil. No wonder radio producers were drawn to his work. We salute, thee,  James M. Cain .