Tony Reseck

Created by Raymond Chandler

Bruno Kirby as Tony Reseck.

As far as I know, TONY RESECK only appeared in one story, Chandler’s classic, “I’ll Be Waiting”, but it was a memorable appearance, marking Chandler first (and only) sale to the “slicks” — in this case, The Saturday Evening Post.

Tony is markedly different from Chandler’s other detectives, who are either Philip Marlowe or Philip Marlowe-clones (Mallory, Carmady, John Dalmas, etc.), and the story itself is certainly less violent than his pulp work. But what the hell — Chandler probably made more money for this one story than for all the stories he published in the pulps. 

Tony is “a short, pale, paunchy, middle-aged man with long delicate fingers” who wears an elk’s tooth on his watch chain, and works as a hotel dick at the Windermere Hotel. He has an ear for classical music, believing, “Mozart was the greatest man that ever lived–and Toscanini is his prophet.”

Although mild-mannered, Tony is a brave little guy, putting it on the line for an ex-con who’s staying at the Windermere, while “the trouble boys” are waiting outside to finish him off.

“I’ll Be Waiting” has been included in a few recent anthologies, and Tom Hanks directed and appeared in an excellent adaptation of the story for the TV series, Fallen Angels, which starred Bruno Kirby (as Tony), Dan Hedaya, and Marg Helgenberger.

Both the story, and the adaptation are well worth checking out.

AW, WHAT DOES HE KNOW?

  • “I didn’t think much of the story when I wrote it — I felt it was artificial, untrue and emotionally dishonest like all slick fiction.”
    — Chandler griping (as usual) in a letter to George Harmon Coxe.

SHORT STORIES

  • “I’ll Be Waiting” (October 14, 1939, Saturday Evening Post)

TELEVISION

  • FALLEN ANGELS
    (1993-95, Showtime)
    Half-hour drama anthology
    Series creator: William Horberg
    Directors:  Peter Bogdanovich, Tom Cruise, Alfonso Cuarón, Tom Hanks, Agnieszka Holland, Phil Joanou, Jonathan Kaplan, Michael Lehmann, Jim McBride, Steven Soderbergh
    Producers: William Horberg, Lindsay Doran, Steve Golin
    Co-producer:David Wisnievitz
    Executive Producer: Sydney Pollack
    Theme composed by Elmer Bernstein
    Original music by Peter Bernstein
    Cinematography by Robert Brinkmann, Emmanuel Lubezki, Declan Quinn, Peter Suschitzky
    A Mirage Enterprises/Propaganda Films/Showtime Networks Inc. Production
    Starring Lynette Walden as FAY FRIENDLY

    • “I’ll Be Waiting” (1993)
      Based on the short story by Raymond Chandler
      Teleplay by C. Gaby Mitchell
      Directed by Tom Hanks
      Starring Bruno Kirby as TONY RESECK
      Also starring Dan Hedaya, Marg Helgenberger, Jon Polito, Dick Miller, Peter Scolari, Tom Hanks, Manny Perry
Respectfully submitted by Frank Patterson, with additional info by Kevin Burton Smith.

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