T.N. Thompson (Mister Dynamite)

Created by Dashiell Hammett At first glance, this 1935 film, based on a Dashiell Hammett short story, sounds like a blast! MISTER DYNAMITE is the titular private eye, an unscrupulous detective hired by a gambler to look into a murder committed in his casino. I figured it would be good for some hard-boiled P.I. action. … Continue reading T.N. Thompson (Mister Dynamite)

Lemmy Caution

Created by Peter Cheyney (1896-1951) Arguably his most popular creation, Australian writer Peter Cheyney's LEMMY CAUTION started out in This Man is Dangerous (1936), as a machine gun-toting FBI agent who always got his man, and wasn't always very nice about how he "got" him. Fortunately for the "reputation" of the Bureau,  in subsequent stories the lunkhead became … Continue reading Lemmy Caution

Benoit Blanc (Knives Out)

Created by Rian Johnson "When people get desperate, the knives come out." Screenwriter and director Rian Johnson has already seriously mucked around with the mystery genre back in his feature film debut Brick, which transported the classic hard-boiled/film noir detective flicks of the forties to a contemporary high school in the endless sun-bleached suburban sprawl of … Continue reading Benoit Blanc (Knives Out)

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)

The Neo-Noirs

Noir in the Nineties (Sometimes the Eyes Don't Have It) The private eye film seems to be an increasingly rare animal, but the nineties saw a major rebirth of the crime film. Some of these were small, cash-in-the-empties indie productions, barely appearing in theatres before rushing to video or cable, and others were big budget … Continue reading The Neo-Noirs

Mickey Haller

Created by Michael Connelly "Everybody lies... Cops lie. Lawyers lie. Witnesses lie. The victims lie. A trial is a contest of lies." -- Haller in The Brass Verdict Best known for his popular series about dark horse cop (and sometime private eye) Harry Bosch, author Michael Connelly has also dabbled with other almost-eye protagonists, including … Continue reading Mickey Haller

Al Roach

Created by Obie Scott Wade, Michael Maler and Jordan Beswick Jim Rockford goes buggy! In this six-minute animated spoof/homage to film noir and old RKO detective B-flicks from the forties, James Garner provides the voice for AL ROACH, PRIVATE INSECTIGATOR. Roach is the fedora-sporting roach gumshoe with a seedy office in Doowylloh (read it backwards), … Continue reading Al Roach

Jack Andrews

Created by John Dahl and David W. Warfield The sign says "Licensed Investigator, Confidentiality Guaranteed, 1248 Dahl Av., Reno, Nevada." What it doesn't say is that JACK ANDREWS (played by an impossibly boyish-looking Val Kilmer) is not particularly good at the job. He's a business degree major and a former insurance investigator who's on the skids following … Continue reading Jack Andrews

Carson Phillips

Created by Richard Salvatore, with Jay Brandon “Whoever named it the City of Angels had a terrific sense of humor.” Carson Phillips on L.A. The seventies? You're soaking in it... The 1970s were a great decade for private eye films, easily rivaling the 1930s if you ask me. Not only did the "Me Decade" give … Continue reading Carson Phillips