Friday, November 05, 2010

The Perils of the Flying Sidekick

In a discussion about flying kicks, and thanks to the miracle of YouTube, I can put up one of my fond memories of this technique. It's from the movie Marlowe, 1969. Philip Marlowe (James Garner) is a seedy L.A. private eye -- which I happened to be when I saw the movie -- and is menaced by Winslow Wong (Bruce Lee) in his first American movie role. 

Base on The Little Sister,  a novel by Raymond Chandler, it features a low-rent but morally-upright detective who is warned off a case by Wong, who works for a local gangster. (Those of you too young to remember Marlowe from the novels or movies might remember the comics and movie Sin City, by Frank Miller. His protagonist in that is based on Marlowe.)

First time we see him, Lee destroys Marlowe's office after he won't take a bribe, which sets up a fight scene on the roof of a restaurant. In 1969, the line about being a little bit gay was much funnier than it is now. And the real payoff is when Marlowe goes back into the restaurant and wordlessly explains to the gangster what happened to Wong. I thought I was gonna hurt myself laughing at that.

Hey, it was funny back then.



Dojo Rat said...

Garner is definately one of my favorite actors, from all his old westerns to "The Rockford Files".
- It's great when he blows it or gets in a jam, it makes his characters very believable.

Justin said...

I wonder if they tried a take of the wordless explanation scene accompanied by a whistle.

Ed said...

Who's car did he make a compact or add a sunroof in?

Ed said...

....or a line like " or are you a little light in the loafers" might have worked - given Lee being so fleet of foot.