Everyone walks to talk about the ads, I suppose. Great game! Not as many infuriating high-concept chippy-snippy ads. This grabbed me right away:

. . . but it was on a subconscious level, as if something had stirred and bolted straight up. The image was followed by . . .

And then I thought, with absolute certainty, I've been there. I know that place now. If I was right about the first image, then this was the alleyway towards Walken was, well, walkin'. I know I'm right. My photo:


It is absolutely the Biltmore in LA. I stayed there for two nights in 2011. They haven't moved anything in thirteen years. The lighted signs still align.

Can't remember the name of someone I met five minutes ago, but I remember an ornate hotel hallway from the 10s.


Funeral on Saturda7yA neighbor, a genuinely great guy. We'd met down at the triangle for parties, or just ran into each around the neighborhood. The guy had run about a hundred marathons, I swear; fiddle-fit. Fifty-nine years old.

Remember last week I mentioned a flash drive that showed up on the free table? I managed to mount it, but only found a promo video of a factory opening in 2019.

  Never heard of the company. Googled them; they made pipes, and other things.
  The biggest flower arrangement in the hall.

He worked there.

I took a look around the church before I left. Mid-century church, abstract and modernistic.

If you grew up in the post-war era in the suburbs, or a place where they built new churches, you saw floors like this down in the meeting hall. You don't see them much any more, do you?

Piety through glass blocks:

When I put my phone in my pocket I must have hit the camera button, because when I looked at it later it seemed I had been vouchsafed a vision of hell:


Our new Monday feature! The Gazettes provide a look at the commercial vernacular from 90 years ago. Sometimes they look forward, and just as often as not they reach back decades for a familiar look.

Are any of these brands still around? We'll find out.

Certainly has a lot of applications. I'd say it covers the waterfront, and then some.

I don't think it was a popular item. No mention of it today.

Three brands still alive so far this year, three dead.



I remember dismissing this one, for reasons.

Perhaps it was the first Dick Powell tough-guy movie I’d seen. Knew him only from the happy 30s musicals. Powell as Marlowe? What? It’s like . . . Rick Astley as James Bond.

Fun fact: "The film was first screened on December 18, 1944 in Minneapolis, Minnesota with the title Farewell, My Lovely, and also played in previews in New England with that title. A survey by Audience Research Inc. indicated that viewers thought that the title suggested a Dick Powell musical, so the film's name was changed, delaying its release. It opened in New York City on March 8, 1945 as Murder, My Sweet."

I’ll give it this: it starts out NOIR AS ALL GET-OUT . Introducing Powell-as-Marlowe with his face partially obscured: smart touch. We ease into the characterization, let the voice do the work first.

Then we’re on the streets for some inadvertent documentary:


Okay. The movie on the marquee is “Gangsters Boy,” which came out in 1938.

When it premiered in LA, it was on a double bill with a light ’n’ breezy movie called “Hard to Get,” which starred . . . Dick Powell.

The other movie is “Mad Miss Manton,” which also came out in 1938.

White Rose Bakery. RKO Proctor. This is driving me nuts.

There’s one listing in the newspapers.com archive for Gangster’s Boy Proctor Mad Miss Manton, and it’s New Rochelle. I can’t find anything. It seems inconceivable that this location is unknowable. There’s no total list of RKO Proctor Theaters that lines up.

Ah well.

We get some down-at-the-heels shots of Marlowe’s office, which are nice and dusty:

We get some 40s shoulders:

We get some rich people 40s interiors:

We get Claire Trevor as the 40s blonde:

We get a drugged dream-sequence montage!


And we get Powell, who is better than I remember. This is my fault. Partly because of the aforementioned prejudice. Now I’ve seen enough Powell PI / tough-guy stuff to accept him in the role and see how well he plays it.

On the other hand, I always figured Marlowe was on the rugged side.

I mean . . .


Well, it's a good movie. Not the best Marlowe, but I don't anyone's ever satisfied completely with movie Marlowes. There's something we imagine and add, and never quite makes it into someone else's version.


Oh . . . one more thing.




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