CHANDLER, RAYMOND.

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Lot 261
CHANDLER, RAYMOND.

Sold for US$ 1,553 inc. premium
CHANDLER, RAYMOND.
“LET’S FACE IT. TELEVISION IS A THIRD-RATE MEDIUM.”
Typed Letter Signed (“Ray”), 2 pp, 4to, La Jolla, June 19, 1951, to Edgar Carter, on personal letterhead, reviewing a CBS contract to adapt the Marlowe character to television, with holograph inscription at conclusion, leaves creased horizontally and lightly toned, Carter’s annotation in red pencil to lower left margin, otherwise very fine.

Though Chandler had authorized radio adaptations of his work, and even a CBS radio series (“The Adventures of Philip Marlowe,” 1948-1950), he was loathe to allow the network to create a television series around the character of Marlowe. In this letter, he expresses his anxieties to his literary agent, Eddie Carter. In part: “They give no undertaking to protect the character or even to use their best efforts to protect the character. On the contrary, they specifically reserve the right to change the character. I’m not sure I could go for that. But the minute I say this I realize that however hard they try not to change the character, they will certainly change it, because other people will be writing it. So far these shows are all the same. And they are all the same because the people who write them, direct, and produce them have no wit, no imagination, and no style. On the other hand, do we want the money or don’t we? Let’s face it. Television is a third-rate medium. Any well-handled low budget film looks like a million dollars compared with the best dramatic show produced directly for television.” Eventually Marlowe did make his way to the small screen, but not until after Chandler’s death, and not on CBS.
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