Marlowe at the Movies Pt 2: LADY IN THE LAKE (MGM 1947)

cracked rear viewer


Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe stories are all done in first-person narrative, so it must have seemed logical to director/star Robert Montgomery to shoot THE LADY IN THE LAKE in the subjective point-of-view. Aside from a few brief narration scenes, we see everything through the eyes of Marlowe. The actors play straight to the camera, doubling for the private eye. Does it work? Well….I guess that all depends on YOUR point of view!


“My name is Marlowe”, the film begins, as we see him sitting at his office desk. He relates the tale of how he submitted a short story to a pulp magazine, and received a reply from an editor named “A. Fromsett”. The movie is told in flashback, and now the POV changes to that of Marlowe’s for the bulk of the story. We meet A. Fromsett, who’s a gorgeous woman named Adrienne. She likes his story, but has an…

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Venturesmania: Beloved Invaders (1965, directed by George M. Reid)

In 1965, while the British were invading the rest of the world, the Ventures were invading Japan.  Hailing from the pacific Northwest, the Ventures were one of the most popular and influential of the instrumental rock bands of the 50s and 60s.  With their debut album, 1960’s Walk, Don’t Run, they helped to define the sound of the emerging surf scene while 1964’s The Ventures in Space inspired a generation of aspiring guitar gods, including Jeff Beck.  The Ventures were phenomenally popular in Japan and they continue to regularly tour there.

Beloved Invaders is a documentary about the Ventures in Japan.  Clips of the Ventures performing in Hiroshima are mixed with footage of the group meeting with their young fans and exploring Japanese culture.  The Ventures all come across as being regular and unassuming guys but the main reason to see the film is for the amazing music.  The Ventures play almost all of their best known songs and watching them perform, you understand why they inspired so many others to pick up a guitar and make music of their own.  Sadly, very few of the great rock and roll instrumental combos of the early 60s were ever preserved on film, which makes Beloved Invaders all the more important.

Beloved Invaders was made for a Japanese audience (when the members of the Ventures speak, they are even dubbed into Japanese) and it can be difficult to track down in the United States.  For a long time, it was a popular bootleg though it was finally released on DVD in 2004 and it can be ordered from the Ventures web site.