Private Eyes1981

Director: Lang Elliott
Stars: Tim Conway, Don Knotts, Trisha Noble, Bernard Fox, Grace Zabriskie
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Short
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 91 minutes

For this set, you'd better peel off your trench coat, pour yourself a stiff drink, and get ready for a slick look at the dirty secrets of Deco Era Hollywood with the private dick who knows them all. HBO's Philip Marlowe, Private Eye takes Raymond Chandler's grittiest short stories and transforms them into stylish, atmospheric production pieces. In these six hour-long tales, you're taken on a tough tour through the decaying glamour of Los Angeles, from the mansions and movie studios to the jazz joints and one-night cheap hotels. Every character has a story to tell, and every one of them has a secret to keep. Powers Boothe does a wonderful job bringing the hardest of hard-boiled detectives to life in these colorful cases of corruption and revenge. In early episodes, the supporting players are occasionally overwhelmed by Boothe's talent, but overall, the acting is tight--and Chandler's dialogue is still razor sharp decades after it was written. The stories will keep you guessing until the end...which is exactly what you'd expect from a master of mystery. But the real triumph of the series is in bringing the grim noir morality tales to life, painstakingly re-creating the sweaty streets and penthouse suites of a great city gone to seed. When all the elements come together, you can almost taste the cigarettes, feel the sweat, and smell the aroma of cordite and dime-store perfume. --Grant Balfour

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