The Adventures of Philip Marlowe Was One of the Best Old Time Radio Shows

Philip Marlowe is one of the leading characters in the genre of hardboiled crime fiction that started in the 1920's and took the country by storm after World War II. Marlowe was created by Raymond Chandler in the novel The Big Sleep in 1939 and quickly took his place in alongside Sam Spade and Richard Diamond in popularity with the hungry public.

According to one account –

"The private eye of this time was a cynical observer of a corrupt society, yet the enduring appeal of Marlowe and other hardboiled detectives lies in their idealism. and chess. "

But unlike the radio series Sam Spade or Richard Diamond, there's no "cuteness" here. Only a tough-nosed private eye doing a tough job.

Philip Marlowe first appeared in The Lux Radio Theater's adaption of the movie, "Murder My Sweet."

Dick Powell, who also played Philip Marlowe in the 1944 film, reprised his role for the radio audience in 1945. Powell would later find radio success as the singing detective, Richard Diamond.

Next came the short lived, "Philip Marlowe".

Two years after Murder my Sweet, NBC produced Philip Marlowe as a summer replacement for the Bob Hope Show. It featured adaptations of the Chandler short stories and starred Van Heflin as Marlowe. The stories are hard to follow and the show did not catch on.

Finally gold – "The Adventures of Philip Marlowe."

Finally in 1948 CBS tried their hand at the private eye and stuck gold. It was well-produced, less introspective than the books or the previous series on NBC and star Gerald Mohr excelled as Marlowe with his snappy delivery. Coupled with the well-written stories and intriguing characters this version makes for entertaining listening. By 1949 the show was pulling the biggest audience on American radio, with a rating of 10.3 million listeners. In 1950, Radio and Television Life Magazine named Gerald Mohr as the Best Male Actor on radio.

The Adventures of Philip Marlowe has the BEST hard-boiled openings in radio. I'm not going to spoil it by writing it here. You really must hear it to fully appreciate it – so download an episode today.