Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday's Favorite OTR

Philip Marlowe: “Last Laugh” 4/2/49

Philip Marlowe was a great show because it used and respected the hard-boiled traditions of storytelling. But the nice thing about a regular series is that it could occasionally step outside its usual genre and still have a good time.

“Last Laugh” is more of a whodunit than a hard-boiled story. Marlowe is named in the will of a rich guy who is famous for pulling practical jokes. He attends the reading of the will in a mansion on a remote island. The “deceased,” though, turns out to be alive—it was all just another practical joke.

But the joker gets killed for real when someone tosses him off a balcony. It’s up to Marlowe to sort through the unpleasant relatives and servants to finger the killer. Before he wraps it up, though, someone tries to cave in his skull…

This is a nice departure from the usual Marlowe fare (though the usual Marlowe fare was consistently excellent), with Gerald Mohr doing his usual pitch-perfect job of one of the genre’s most important characters.

This episode can be downloaded HERE.

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