Harry Petry (Hollywood Harry)

Created by Curt Allen "Fast women, Hard Liquor. And a detective without a clue." -- the tagline "I am not a character out of a god damn book". -- Harry gripes about his lot in life The always reliable Robert Forster (Banyon, Jackie Brown, Karen Sisco, etc.) dishes out another solid performance, this time as … Continue reading Harry Petry (Hollywood Harry)

Eddie Mannix (Hail, Caesar!)

Created by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen "EDDIE MANNIX" was a real-life character, a legendary (and allegedly mob-connected) Hollywood bouncer and fixer who rose through the ranks to become a studio executive at MGM in the fifties. You may recall his appearance in the 2006 film Hollywoodland, director Allen Coulter and writer Paul Bernbaum's ambitious … Continue reading Eddie Mannix (Hail, Caesar!)

Ronnie Jackson (My Favorite Brunette)

Created by Edmund Beloin and Jack Rose "You see, I wanted to be a detective, too. It only took brains, courage, and a gun...and I had the gun." -- Ronnie Jackson For any baby boomers or gen Xers out there who grew up in the sixties and seventies, Bob Hope is mostly remembered as a smarmy … Continue reading Ronnie Jackson (My Favorite Brunette)

Gus Klein

Created by Richard Neely (1941--) Most folks (including me) may not have read Richard Neely's original 1969 novel, The Plastic Nightmare, but for a brief period, it seemed like everyone had seen -- and had a theory about -- Shattered, the confusing, polarizing 1991 film adaptation by Wolfgang Petersen. Suffice it to say while this … Continue reading Gus Klein

Whispering Smith

Created by Frank H. Spearman (1859-1950) Cowboy and railroad detective GORDON "WHISPERING" SMITH first showed in in a 1906 novel by celebrated Western author Frank H. Spearman. Supposedly, Smith was modeled on real-life Union Pacific Railroad detectives Timothy Keliher and Joe Lefors (though his name was taken from another UPRR policeman, James L. "Whispering" Smith. … Continue reading Whispering Smith

Anthony Hester & Julian Simms

Created by Nick Ball and John Niven "No, you can't play the African fruitbat card!" In the 2011 cinematic cheesefest, Cat Run, failed chef ANTHONY HESTER and his best bud, perpetually horny party boy JULIAN SIMMS, decide to open up a detective agency in Montenegro, because of course with a background like that, what else would … Continue reading Anthony Hester & Julian Simms

Pulp Fiction: The Golden Age of Storytelling

This cheesy 2009 documentary offers a brief but fascinating overview of the writers who sweated out stories for the pulps from the 20s right through to the early 50s, across all genres, although it leans heavily towards sci-fi and fantasy -- in fact, its alternate title is "Pulp Fiction: The Golden Age of Sci Fi, Fantasy … Continue reading Pulp Fiction: The Golden Age of Storytelling

Pulp Fiction Art: Cheap Thrills & Painted Nightmares

This 2005 documentary by filmmaker Jamie McDonald is the first documentary I've heard of dedicated exclusively to the world of pulp art: those gloriously tawdry two-fisted illustrations of sneezing roscoes, hulking ghouls, granite-jawed dicks, slimy space monsters, scantily clad babes in distress and other wild and wonderful miscreants that graced the covers of the pulps … Continue reading Pulp Fiction Art: Cheap Thrills & Painted Nightmares

Harry Moseby

Created by Alan Sharp "Ain't it funny how the night moves/When you just don't seem to have that much to lose? Ain't it funny how the night moves/With autumn closing in?" -- Bob Seger, who says he'd never heard of the film when he wrote the song. (Yeah, right, Bob...) One of the great private eye … Continue reading Harry Moseby

Bill Crane

Created by Jonathan Latimer (1906-1983) Jonathan Latimer's first book, 1935's Headed For a Hearse, was one of the first hard-boiled screwball comedies, following closely on the heels of the previous year's The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett. But where Hammett only toyed with the idea, contenting himself with cocktails and banter, Latimer went whole hog. … Continue reading Bill Crane