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Sat Feb 1, 2020, 09:14 PM

Phillip Marlowe and Sam Spade- Humphrey Bogart's famous characters was a black man?

Samuel Marlowe was born in 1903 and fought in WWI. According to Ransil, he became the first black licensed private investigator in LA, and specialized in helping studios and stars do the kind of PI dirty work they didn't want to get their hands into.
He helped Hollywood figures out of jams in the off-limits African-American clubs and bars in LA that many white actors and execs enjoyed frequenting on the sly.

Marlowe was supposedly called on to help stars like Clark Gable and Charlie Chaplin track down runaway lovers, and was tapped to keep an eye on a $8,000 blackmail payment Marelene Deitrich's studio made to the son of her female makeup artist - because she was in a relationship with her...
According to Ransil's research, Marlowe first connected with writer Dashiell Hammett (pictured left) in 1929, the same year Hammett published his first novel 'Red Harvest'.

Marlowe wrote a letter to Hammett to complain about details of his portrayals of private investigators and the two supposedly became friends; with Marlowe eventually sharing real-life details that would show up in Hammett's later books.
According to Miller's LA Times article (and Ransil's research), in 1930 when Hammett published 'The Maltese Falcon', the "Sam Spade" character was a private nod to Marlowe's help; a private joke between the two based on a twist on the derogatory term for blacks.

Marlowe also helped out Raymond Chandler too by not only sharing his real-life expertise and tracking down police files, but also escorting the writer around the seedier parts of LA where it was difficult for whites to navigate because of the strict segregation at the time.
Scenes and settings which supposedly show up in Chandler's work 'Farewell My Lovely' according to Miller's article.
Apparently Louise Ransil is currently trying to pitch a screenplay she wrote based on Samuel Marlowe's experiences; now THAT would make for a cool update on the Film Noir genre - no pun intended.
[link:http://theculturegeist.blogspot.com/2014/12/was-samuel-marlowe-inspiration-for.html|

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Reply Phillip Marlowe and Sam Spade- Humphrey Bogart's famous characters was a black man? (Original post)
tulipsandroses Feb 2020 OP
RGinNJ Feb 2020 #1
Joinfortmill Feb 2020 #2

Response to tulipsandroses (Original post)

Sat Feb 1, 2020, 09:51 PM

1. Wow, that's very cool. What a great man.

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Response to tulipsandroses (Original post)

Sat Feb 1, 2020, 09:58 PM

2. Very cool, thanks.

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