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Summary

They never came tougher than Marlowe, a cynical, world-weary, wise-cracking shamus whose honesty in a dishonest world sent him down the mean streets again and again in search of some kind of justice.

Ed Bishop stars as Philip Marlowe in these powerfully atmospheric BBC Radio 4 dramatisations of Raymond Chandler's novels.

The Big Sleep

General Sternwood's daughters came in both the colours of trouble - blonde and brunette - and they had all the usual vices. With four million dollars behind them, blackmail was only a matter of time. And blackmail can be murder.

The High Window

Linda Conquest was very tough, very kissable and very missing, along with one very valuable old coin. But soon Marlowe finds that everyone who handles the coin suffers a run of very bad luck: they always end up dead.

The Lady in the Lake

Blonde, beautiful and wild, Crystal Kingsley had never been the faithful little wife. But when she goes missing for a month, and then a woman’s body surfaces in an isolated mountain lake, murder-a-day Marlowe is back in business.

The Little Sister

Marlowe is on the case of a missing brother from a two-bit Kansas town, who had the embarrassing habit of knowing guys who finished up on the wrong end of an ice-pick. Until, that is, he did too.

The Long Goodbye

Terry Lennox seemed like a nice guy. Okay, he was a drunk but maybe that could happen to anyone with too much money, too much time and a wife who played the field in a big way. Trouble was, when she ended up dead, it wasn't money that got Lennox to Mexico. It was Marlowe.

Farewell My Lovely

At six feet five, Moose Malloy is a big man who looks about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food – and about as dangerous. His girl Velma disappeared eight years ago, and now he wants to find her.

Also included in a BBC Radio archive discussion, in which Raymond Chandler and Ian Fleming discuss thrillers and talk about their respective heroes: Philip Marlowe and James Bond.

Originally broadcast between 1977 and 1988, these dramatisations also star Don Fellows and Robert Beatty. They were adapted by Bill Morrison and produced by John Tydeman.

These are archive dramatisations of the original novels published between 1939 and 1953, and the language used reflects some of the attitudes of those times. 

©2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

What listeners say about Raymond Chandler

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A quality production that has not been surpassed

I listened to the original BBC radio productions in the 1970s and they have certainly stood the test of time. Although the plays are obviously condensed versions of the books they feel truer to the originals than more recent productions. Ed Bishop and the supporting cast are all excellent. Why can the BBC not produce this type of quality radio now ?

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Fantastic Productions - so atmospheric

These are amazing, so atmospheric, great cast. I was walking 'the mean streets' as I listened to these dramas.

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Brilliant Production

If I could give this ten stars I would! Not only having the poetic and gritty writing of Chandler. But a wonderful cast led by the late great (and very underrated)Ed Bishop.

The BBC pulled out all the stops on this series. It is so evocative of the period. With some dark moments. But balanced by incredibly clever and witty humor. also the music is so much of the time and used so well.

My favourite is Farewell My Lovely. but they are all great and you can listen again and again and find something new.

A more recent recent series of the same plays has been done by the BBC. But don't bother it has nowhere near the shine or depth.

Take it from me credit on these beauties will not be wasted. Dive in!

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Profile Image for Dr. Joe de Beauchamp
  • Dr. Joe de Beauchamp
  • 08-08-20

Big Sleep

I found this a very good production of the Raymond Chandler's book The Big Sleep. I found the narration quite good and kept me interested throughout the book and as good as the movie with Humphrey Bogart in it Street

4 people found this helpful