Raymond Chandler was not only one of the truly great American detective writers; the man who was born on this day in 1888 also proved that it is never too late for a career change when, in 1932 at age 44, Chandler lost his job as an oil company executive and decided to become a writer. He’d spend the next 26 years writing mystery books, and giving American literature one of its most iconic characters in the hardboiled private detective Philip Marlowe. And while Chandler is best known as the author of a handful of short stories and the seven novels published during his lifetime, it’s the film adaptations of those novels (six of the seven have been turned into movies) and his other film work that have kept us talking about Chandler long after his death.
Murder, My Sweet (1944)
Based on Chandler’s 1940 book, Farewell, My Lovely, Dick Powell starred in this earliest portrayal of Marlowe on the big screen.