Where sports and politics collide, hosted by Nation magazine Sports Editor Dave Zirin
Manage episode 337394485 series 2494501
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The June 17th, 1947 edition of Billboard Magazine reviewed the first Marlowe episode. It was noted that similar shows were expected to pull a rating of 7.5. The magazine stated that “Milton Geiger's adaptation adhered to Red Wind's language almost to the letter, and captured most of the colorful, almost poetic flavor. “On the debit side was the enormity of the job of breaking down Chandler's complex plotting within the thirty minute limit. The program galloped through the first fifteen minutes as the action unfolded. “The Second half pace slowed down to a crawl, however, as everyone desperately strove to clarify the proceedings. Repeated conjecture and explanation of the cast's intricate relationships unfortunately had confusion rampant by the end.” The reviewer was quick to point out that “Even films, found that ninety minutes was hardly enough to cram in all of Chandler’s ideas. Perhaps the shorter stories will prove more suited for air. Their flair for mood and language certainly is hard to surpass. “The commercials were harsh and repetitive, stressing that Pepsodent is "preferred three to one" by American families. Foote, Cone & Belding seems to be trying its Lucky Strike technique on the dentifrice. It's a three to one bet that the incessant "three to one" chatter becomes as notorious as LS/MFT.” On the lead Billboard stated: “Heflin's emoting in the role of the tough guy with a heart was effective, with excellent character projection. Lurene Tuttle, as the woman in the case, put on her usual good performance. Producer James Fonda struggled valiantly to keep the pacing level, but was handcuffed by the urgency of the story. The script contained an inside joke. The name of Lola’s dead lover was changed to Johnny Dalmas, the name of the original detective in Chandler’s “Red Wind” before the story became Marlowe’s. Chandler thought it was flat. Van Heflin was too recognizable. He didn’t like picturing Heflin’s face emoting Marlowe’s lines. Erle Stanley Gardner told Chandler the show’s plot and narration moved too fast to be understood. There was a bigger argument at stake within the industry: Were summer replacements a worthwhile investment? Sponsor Magazine claimed that it cost advertisers money to take a thirteen-week hiatus. It was money lost in the form of lower summertime ratings. But, You couldn’t just blame it on Summer replacements though. For example, Bob Hope’s 1946-47 rating was 27.6, but his combined rating for June and September 1947 was 14.4. People spent more time outdoors in warm months. It didn’t matter what was on the air. Plus, there was still no way to effectively measure car radio ratings. Given that Hope’s show cost twenty-one thousand weekly dollars to produce, while Marlowe cost just four thousand, Pepsodent was getting a bargain. By the end of summer, Marlowe was the highest-rated summer replacement series on the air.