Friday, October 30, 2009

New Andrea Camilleri novel

I'm feeling ethical today, so, yes, Federal Communications Commission, I received my copy of Andrea Camilleri's new Inspector Montalbano novel, The Wings of the Sphinx, free from the publisher.

And yes, publisher (Penguin), I will not quote from this uncorrected proof until I have checked the finished book first.

I think, though, that I can offer a general observation or two about how Camilleri keeps the series fresh into its eleventh installment. One is that the quips and political jabs are sharp as ever. Another is that Camilleri finds new ways to express his protagonist's aging.

Montalbano has moved into his fifties as the series has progressed (He's in his mid-fifties here), and Camilleri does much more than have him complain about creaking bones or occasional inability to sleep. In recent books, Montalbano has come to regard his lover, Livia, with increasing tenderness even as the relationship remains as tempestuous as ever. In the new novel, Montalbano finds youth itself ever more precious, rebelling against the obscenity of children's or young adults' slaughter in war or at criminals' hands.

I have heard that one reader, somewhere, complained of "all that growing-old stuff" in Camilleri's recent books. But what could be more universal, more human, than aging? What could be more touching than the spectacle of a character (and an author) finding life ever more precious? Camilleri never gets old.

© Peter Rozovsky 2009

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40 Comments:

Blogger Loren Eaton said...

I try to avoid making political comments online, but I cannot believe that our government thinks that regulating blog reviews will make for a better nation.

That is all.

October 30, 2009  
Anonymous Joe Barone said...

Thanks for this review. I came to this series through your blog, and have always been grateful.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Barbara said...

The FCC rules weren't aimed at book reviewers who blog but at fraudulent attempts to pass off promotion as an even-handed review. I doubt it can be effectively regulated, but I'm not sweating it with books.

I've never understood the "don't quote" rule. Many reviews are written pre-publication. How the heck are you supposed to get your hands on the finished book in time? Silly.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger R. T. said...

I enjoyed reading your preview/review of the Camilleri novel. The icing on the cake, though, was your swipe at the FCC full-disclosure "rules" and publishers' ARC "warnings." I've adopted a simple rule of my own in regard to their "rules" and "warnings": I ignore them. Readers of reviews are sophisticated enough to know that reviewers aren't obligated to publishers, and publishers ought to know that snippets of their ARCs enhance reviews, which can translate into better sales of the books. Therefore, reviewers (like yourself, yours truly, and thousands of others) should simply get on with the business of enjoying and reviewing good books while also ignoring and tossing all the others. Of course, then another government agency might become involved since we will be enlarging the carbon footprint by using excess electricity by posting online reviews of good books and cluttering landfills with the ARCs of all of the awful books that should not have been published in the first place.

(Non Sequitur Postscript: Go, Phillies!)

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Philip said...

Thank you for alerting me to this, Peter. I've had to resort to re-reading Camilleri this last while.

I am rather with Barbara re the FCC business, though that includes doubts re whether regulation can be effective. My chief concern is with regard to the nature of blogs and being able to distinguish the truly independent ones. I suspect a certain naivete is in the air as I read that literary Blogger A is guest blogging on the site of this publisher and musical Blogger B is this month's (paid) guest blogger on, let us just say, ahem, BBC Radio 3. I want to know about these relations and at least to be aware of the possibility of bloggers being paid or pressured or compromised in whatever fashion.

This is not a small matter, as classical music bloggers -- a particularly expert, feisty, and outspoken bunch on the whole -- well know. Letters full of enticements often turn up from companies such as Interaction London, which deals in "social media intelligence and online communications". That outfit represents the Beeb, Microsoft, Audi, et al., with a view to influencing how they are portrayed on Facebook, MySpace....and blogs, and hence these letters to bloggers saying that the client "would like to offer you access to (events, tickets, DVDs, CDs, books, advance information...) in return for your support." Or "would like to invite you to be our guest blogger...". Or whatever it may be. You have to be bloody naive to suppose this is just being matey and, given the huge sums given to these companies, that it does not pay dividends. BBC Radio 3 is often discussed in the music context because it is these days regularly slammed by just about everyone who cares about classical music, so their attempts to tame the bloggers, to get the camels inside the tent pissing out, are never-ending, and successful too often for my liking. And so with books and music as with all other 'products', and so in the US as in the UK and everywhere else, I have no doubt.

October 30, 2009  
Anonymous marco said...

I have heard that one reader, somewhere, complained of "all that growing-old stuff" in Camilleri's recent books.

Ageist bastards.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger L.M. Quinn said...

Camilleri would no doubt have a great deal to say to the FCC (were it part of the Italian government's making)through the mouth of Inspector Montalbano.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I try to avoid making political comments online, but I cannot believe that our government thinks that regulating blog reviews will make for a better nation.

Loren, as I think a subsequent commenter pointed out, the FCC has come out and said (after public outcry) that the regulation is aimed more at advertising than at review copies. Still, I wonder if this is another effort to aim at the small guy because the big guys are too poweful, elusive, or entwined with the government;s own interests to be safe targets.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You're welcome, Joe. It is highly gratifying to learn that you found the series through this site. It's a good feeling to spread the news about books one likes.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The FCC rules weren't aimed at book reviewers who blog but at fraudulent attempts to pass off promotion as an even-handed review. I doubt it can be effectively regulated, but I'm not sweating it with books.

I've never understood the "don't quote" rule. Many reviews are written pre-publication. How the heck are you supposed to get your hands on the finished book in time? Silly.


Barbara, I suspect there is no way the regulation can be enforced (though it may open the possibility for misuse by some future overzealous official), and most reaction I've seen on blogs has been similar to mine: gentle mockery. Still, it seems regulators could have chosen more urgent matters.

Perhaps the "don't quote" rule expects that reviewers will write prepublication but use the finished copy as a final check. I have noticed two small features of "The Wings of the Sphinx" that could be changed in the final book. A sentence around page 140 omits an "and," and Steven Sartarelli's end notes are sparser than usual. I would not be surprised to see more end notes in the finished book.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

R.T., I root for the Phillies to win, and I hope to be out of town when they do. Championship celebrations can be ugly things these days.

I don't remember seriously taking into account publishers' ARC warnings. I like to think I'd weigh carefully the likelihood that the matter under discussion would, in fact, change. I mentioned in a previous comment, for example, that the translator's end notes seem fewer in the advance reading copy of "The Wings of the Sphinx." I could well imagine Steven Sartarelli working on expanded notes as we speak, so I would not think it fair to make anything of the matter in a review of the book.

My discussion of this book is decidedly more a preview than a review, especially as I have not finished reading the novel.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I have heard that one reader, somewhere, complained of "all that growing-old stuff" in Camilleri's recent books.

Ageist bastards.


Marco, being the conciliatory sort that I am, and having heard the "growing old" comment only second or third hand, I'll accuse the person who made it only of the lesser sin of being an insensitive or inattentive reader. Such a reader might accuse Camilleri of using Montalbano's aging as a mere gimmick, an effort to retain interest in a long-running series. If it is such, Camilleri executes it with great sensitivity and grace.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

L.M. Quinn has left a new comment on your post "New Andrea Camilleri novel":

Camilleri would no doubt have a great deal to say to the FCC (were it part of the Italian government's making)through the mouth of Inspector Montalbano.


Beyond all possibility of doubt. Camilleri would deliver a pointed jab at such a rule, and Steven Sartarelli would explain it in one of his excellent, illuminating end notes.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Philip, I had not known about companies such as Interaction London. Sounds like something newspapers ought to be writing about.

I wonder if similar companies are active in the book business. The tactics, from your description, sound like a man with flashy rings and a big car promising the world to farm girls just off the bus in the big city.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Philip said...

I have no doubt some of these companies represent book business interests in one way or another. Interaction London, for a start off, represents Freud Communications which represents Time Warner, and Time Warner...

Yes, it does sound like the enticement of farm girls, but some of those seduced are a bit more sophisticated than that, and that ties in with your point that newspapers ought to be writing about the matter, Peter. The BBC has been nicely described as the 800-pound gorilla in UK classical music, so I'll stay with it as a prime example for that reason and because this whole thing is already a significant problem in music. The Beeb is doing well in getting MSM people inside the tent. The classical music critic for the Guardian and the former critic for the Evening Standard, both also bloggers, are just two who have accepted invitations to present programmes on the Beeb, as have also the editor of an eminent music magazine, a freelance journalist who writes for the Independent and also blogs, a...well, you get the idea. None of these is now about to turn on the Beeb or write about Interaction London.

The interconnections are rife, of course. One very independent blogger and former music industry executive has described how he received an announcement from a PR firm of a venture he thought questionable, and question he did. That announcement was simply regurgitated in the eminent magazine alluded to above, possibly because, you might think, the editor of said magazine presented a programme on BBC Radio, and that programme was farmed out to and produced by the same company responsible for the new venture. And if one then looks at the ownership of certain magazines and also of certain recording labels whose CDs may be reviewed by journalists/bloggers/radio presenters/guest bloggers...you start to think it might be nice to know just who is who and what is what.

I hope I don't need to say this, but it does not follow, of course, that any MSM or blog reviewer who receives a CD or book for review free of charge is at once corrupted -- that is not what this is about at all. And there are surely bloggers who guest blog on publishers' sites, e.g., without allowing such to influence their reviews. But the above is a very serious matter re the future of blogs, and those who sup with the Devil should surely use a very long spoon.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Loren Eaton said...

I'm glad to hear that the FCC seems to have toned it down a bit. One of the publishers I've received review copies from reminded book bloggers on its list to include the disclaimer just a couple weeks ago.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Philip, I wonder if the problem is akin to that in American television, with newspaper sports columnists accepting high-paying television jobs with ESPN. Aside from the harm this does to their writing, I suspect one would have to look long and hard for any critical examination from these columnists of ESPN and its sports coverage.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Loren, I haven't read the text of the regulation, so I'm unsure what the FCC's original intent was. I wonder if this new regulation nips a potential new payola scandal in the bud.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger R. T. said...

Peter, I would wager that not many readers under the age of 50 or 60 know much about payola scandals. The fact that I know what you are talking about makes me suddenly feel like a grateful recipient of social security (which I am).

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Payola was a few years before my time, too. I know about it from passing references, perhaps first from my older cousin's Mad magazines, which I read in my youth.

For the benefit of my youthful readership, payola was illegal payments from record companies to DJs and radio stations to play records. For an overview, read a Wikipedia article here.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger R. T. said...

Peter, please stop rubbing it in. Okay, it was before your time; however, it was not before mine. Damn, you know how to remind a fellow that he is over the hill.

However, on another subject, I need to hold you accountable for something: I am embarking on a new reading plan by reading (and sometimes rereading) the Camilleri series. After that, it will be on to others (like Leon, Dibdin, Nabb, et al).

So even though your reference to payola made me feel like a dinosaur, I thank you for being the catalyst for more good times with Camilleri et al.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Philip said...

Very much akin, Peter, though this is an octopus with more than the customary number of tentacles, as you may tell. In writing of this, I had in mind the effect on blogs, for I have of late removed certain blogs, including some erstwhile favourites, from my list of bookmarks because they had patently surrendered independence, but there huge ramifications in other areas as well.

R.T., I wrote a comment on a related matter a short time ago -- I think it had something to do with Stieg Larsson, in particular -- and I did use the term 'payola' in that. I thought that not many would know what that is, and then I thought, well, what the hell, use it anyway.

Verification word is 'branes' -- that took me aback, for I'm reading a book on string theory at the moment. Understanding it, not, but I am reading it.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

No, no. R.T., I was musing ruefully over my own proximity to the payola era, not my remoteness from it.

I am pleased to get people and rereading reading Camilleri. He is an author worth following. And remember: He did not start writing the Montalbano series until he was into his mid-seventies.

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Philip, among other things, this discussion reminds me of the fatuous proclamations one used to read about the Internet being a vehicle of freedom that would liberate us from the crushing and corrupting influence of big corporations.

A sound attitude in the face of such idiotic predictions would be that expressed by Groucho Marx when he sang:

"No matter what it is or who commenced it
I'm against it."

October 30, 2009  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

One may read firsthand many comments from Italian readers of the Montalbano novels who are tired of "all that growing-old stuff" at the Yahoo group -- camilleri_fans --.

English-language readers are 5 (including "Wings of the Sphinx") novels "behind" their Italian-language reading counterparts and as Salvo ages about a year per book, Camilleri's observations on aging are not to everyone's taste. Peter, I agree with your view that Camilleri's/Montalbano's wry comments on aging are touching and human. Some readers have attributed these comments on aging as having more to do with the now 84-year-old Camilleri rather than a mid-50s' Montalbano. But as a mid-50's reader I can understand and identify with Salvo (that memory business alone!) and I appreciate the humor that his sometimes bittersweet remarks on this subject are wrapped in.

That said, I agree that a reader's age shouldn't have much to do with one enjoying a series character but some readers are not pleased seeing their beloved characters age, retire, even die. I'm working my way through Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus series and browsed through some readers' comments on the last one of the series. Some of them did not like the idea of a character essentially abandoning them (via retirement).

And that in turn reminded me that several of the novels with series detectives that I've read recently began with the series character in his 40's (Montalbano, Rebus, Bosch, etc.). Could be coincidence or? This pattern, if it is one, is unlike that of so many of the series detectives created by earlier (1940s-50s) writers who were immediate followers of Raymond Chandler and who in turn placed their cop/detective in his mid-30’s, as Philip Marlowe was.

October 30, 2009  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

Oxford English Dictionary dates the first appearance of the word "payola" to 1937 if that makes anyone feel a bit less elderly...

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Elisabeth, I hadn't realized English translations were that far behind, but you're right. Here is the tail end of the Montalbano bibliography from Wikipedia:

12 The Sand Path - 2010 (La pista di Sabbia - 2007)
13 The Potter's Field - 2010 (Il campo del vasaio - 2008)
14 The Age of Doubt - 2010 (L'età del dubbio - 2008)
15 (Le prime indagini - 2009)
16 (La danza del gabbiano - 2009)

It appears that next year may be a big one for English-language Camilleri fans. Perhaps then we'll better be able to understand Italian readers' complaints about that getting-old stuff.

I suspect, too, that the author's age has something to do with the character's view of the world, though this dynamic is especially interesting: an author moving into his eighties writing about a character moving into his fifties. And I am always surprised when I read about some fictional detective, usually American, being 35 or 38. Who the hell knows enough at that age to be the protagonist of a crime novel?

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And this, from another dictionary:

payola

"graft" (especially to disc jockeys from record companies to play their music), 1938 [in a "Variety" headline, "Plug payolas perplexed"], from pay off "bribery" (underworld slang from 1930) + ending from Victrola, etc. (see pianola).

October 30, 2009  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

Wikipedia's Camilleri entry is out of date. It does not include the 3 upcoming Montalbano novels (no Italian release date set): La tana delle vipere (Nest of Vipers or The Vipers' Nest), La caccia al tesoro (Scavenger Hunt), and Una voce di notte (A Voice in the Night). Plus the final, already written, Montalbano, Riccardino (Souvenir). So we have a lot to look forward to. Le prime indagini (The First Investigations) is a trilogy that includes the first 3 Montalbano novels; don’t know if Penguin plans to publish its version of same.

I can’t imagine Penguin plans to publish 3 Montalbanos next year but it’s OK by me.

Perhaps one reason cop/detective protagonists were generally in their 30’s in novels of the 1940s-50s (I’m not as familiar with series detectives of the 1960s-70s) is simply because people’s life spans were shorter in those decades? In Halo for Satan (1948) John Evans’ (Howard Browne) series p.i., 30-something Paul Pine, complains to a femme fatale who has told him her (probably 50-ish) husband was “too old” to satisfy her needs (paraphrased): “What is it with you dames, anyway? You make a guy worried about reaching his 40’s.”

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

It's good to hear that we have even more Camilleri to look forward to.

Once again, I suspect you're right about life span. I'd suspect that Americans either did not live all that long in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, or else they did, but were not yet accustomed to their longer life spans and looked back to their parents' generation.

I just dug this up: "Chandler noted among other things that Marlowe is 38 years old."

October 30, 2009  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

In The Big Sleep (1939) Marlowe tells Genl. Sternwood: “I'm thirty-three years old, went to college once and can still speak English if there's any demand for it. There isn't much in my trade.” By The Little Sister (1949) Marlowe was 38.
Chandler could get cranky on this (and many another) subject. In a 1951 letter to an associate of his Hollywood agent, Chandler grouses about the inane questions posed to him by a British tabloid: “Yes, I am exactly like the characters in my books…I am thirty-eight years old and have been for the last twenty years.” In another letter the same year, Chandler wrote a long letter to a fan who had written to him with the apparent wish to have Chandler confirm details of Marlowe’s biography, tastes, habits, etc.: “It is very kind of you to take such an interest in the facts of Philip Marlowe’s life. The date of his birth is uncertain. I think he said somewhere that he was thirty-eight years old, but that was quite awhile ago and he is no older today. This is just something you will have to face.”

October 30, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The idea of a thirty-three-year-old Marlowe would be laughable to readers today, I think, and not just because Humphrey Bogart was well into his forties when he played Marlowe. Times change.

October 30, 2009  
Anonymous John Purssey said...

Bogart's Marlowe in The Big Sleep was barely recognisable as the Marlowe of the book. I suppose the director had to turn the story into a romance.
The BBC radio dramatisations were much better at keeping to the stories in the books and to the Marlowe character.

Also, Montalbano's character seems just a little softened in the TV series; not quite as crude or rough. My wife does not like the Montalbano of the books.

Do you know of anything that analyses how stories get changed when they are dramatised? I have long wondered about this for both Marlowe and Montalbano.

October 31, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I found what looks like an interesting discussion of books vs. movies here. I'll have to investigate the Montalbano television series more closely. Someone pointed out that Montalbano occasionally acts thoughtlessly and selfishly in the books, particularly toward Livia. This had not occurred to me, but it's accurate, I think. Perhaps that's what your wife does not like.

October 31, 2009  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

Quite a lot has been written about how stories and books are changed for TV or motion pictures. Some of the reasons behind changes are sinister but changes are usually a question of what the producers want, how powerful the star(s) is/are, logistics, funding, time, etc. And a lot of it is whiny complaining on the part of writers whose stories/plots were changed for the screen. But as far as The Big Sleep is concerned, there is a terrific documentary that is part of the 2-versions (the 1945 never-released version and the 1946 release) DVD of the film. It periodically airs on Turner Classic Movies. The documentary details some of the changes made between the first and second versions and the reasons for them with commentary from UCLA Film and Television Archive Preservation Officer, Robert Gitt. Yes, John, “turning it into a romance” was among these changes. Chandler comments on the film at some length in a May 30th 1946 letter that can be accessed for free via Google Books, Selected Letters of Raymond Chandler, pp. 75-76.

Because Humphrey Bogart got to portray both Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade, he is (unfortunately, to my mind) forever linked to these two seminal PI's to the extent that many people assume The Maltese Falcon was written by Chandler.

I’ve always thought Robert Mitchum was the perfect Philip Marlowe and wish he had had the chance to portray him in the 1940s. He was only 30 in 1947’s “Out of the Past” yet perfectly captures the world-weariness of the PI in that film. It’s not so hard to imagine that men in their 30’s, even 20’s, who had been in the War, were plenty world-weary.

As far as the changes made in the Montalbano TV series that deviate from the novels are concerned, there is quite a bit of discussion of this at the “Backstage” section of www.montalbano.tv; however, it’s all in Italian. Many of the changes were for logistical and financial reasons. Because TV shows have to be produced rather quickly and their funding is not that of a feature film (although the series has very high production values) a number of compromises had to be made. The biggest change in the TV series vs. the novels is that the actor portraying Salvo is about 10 years younger than the character in the novels and some adjustments have been made to accommodate this age difference in the teleplays’ plots. This age difference led to a critical casting miscue in the TV version of August Heat (anyone who has seen the TV episode will know what the miscue was) and the director actually wound up apologizing online to fans and said he was entirely to blame for the change. A major problem for the TV series is that the actress who portrayed Livia left after the first few episodes and she has not been replaced. Salvo continues to talk to her via phone, however. And, of course, some of their most amusing and poignant conversations are by phone in the novels.

Michael Connelly was philosophical on the subject of the screen adaptation of his novel Blood Work in a January 4th 2007 interview in “Variety”: “If you take their money, it’s their turn to tell the story.”

November 02, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Elisabeth, I have rented that DVD and seen the documentary. It is fascinating on the changes, including the cast switches between the 1945 and '46 versions. My favorite scene that is in one version but not the other is, of course, Bogart and Bacall's discussion of horseracing.

I made two posts a while back about some ways the Howard Hawks Big Sleep has reverberated through film history. Find them here, if you'd care to take a look.

I have the first four episodes of the Camilleri television series on the way. It will be interesting to see how the producers handled Livia. In the books she tends fo have, as you say, a more powerful presence off-stage than on. Ingrid, on the other hand ...

The most sensible statements I have read on adaptations echo Michael Connelly's. One, in particular, said a novelist should take the money, be grateful for it, and let the producers worry about the movie while you get on with your next book.

November 03, 2009  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

Yes, the horseracing exchange is droll. Vivian Sternwood saying she thought she could bring Marlowe to heel if she ever got the bit between his teeth is a hoot, however, because as any rider knows, once the horse has the bit between his teeth he is virtually uncontrollable.

Chandler groused a bit about the expanded role for Bacall in The Big Sleep (as both Hawks and Bogart began lusting after her during the shooting of To Have and Have Not, 1944) and complained that every time one turned around there she was, coming through a door. But he was also philosophical about the producers' demand for manufacturing a romance for a film version that was not necessary in the novel. That said, Chandler was lucky that Hawks was chosen to direct The Big Sleep as his famous technique of overlapping dialogue was perfect for the hard-boiled story.

I think you'll enjoy the Montalbano TV episodes. The first DVD contains an episode cobbled together from 2 (I believe) of the short stories as well as episodes based on the first 4 novels. We think the actress portraying Livia (a German-speaking Swiss actress) spoke her dialogue and then was dubbed by an Italian actress in post-production. If this is so, it may account for the lack of any real warmth between her and Zingaretti. There is more on-screen chemistry between Zingaretti and the (real) Swedish actress who portrays Ingrid; we think she was a great casting choice. You'll see some other casting choices that vary from their descriptions in the novels as well as others that are spot on. And the Sicilian locations are wonderful.

November 03, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Elisabeth, I am happy to report that the first two Montalbano discs arrived today -- astonishingly quick service.

And good God, that bit about about the bit is a marvelous goof. A lack of fact-checking, and a ludicrous mistake is preserved forever.

Hawks may have been the only director who was good at everything. I had not heard that he lusted after Lauren Bacall. Interesting that Bogart won that contest, but Hawks still came back to direct them both in The Big Sleep. Or was she still in play then?

November 03, 2009  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

Enjoy the Montalbano DVD's! All this chat about them makes me want to re-watch one, too.

Hawks' wife Nancy, nickname Slim, brought Bacall to Hawks' attention after seeing her on the cover of a 1943 Harper's Bazaar. Slim Hawks knew what Howard liked... Although Nancy herself was quite a looker and quite probably Hawks' muse, as I recall. Slim was Bacall's character's nickname in To Have and Have Not. She and (the then-married) Bogart became an item during the shooting and their obvious "sparks" led to their being recast together in The Big Sleep (this was mentioned in that doc on the DVD).

November 03, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Wow, I never knew the nickname Slim in the movie was so pregnant with meaning. Perhaps The Big Sleep is one of Hollywood's prime rejoinders to anyone who complains about fanciful adaptations. For the UK, the prime rejoinder is Hitchcock.

November 03, 2009  

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