Showing posts with the label radio detective

Remember Radio Detective: Johnny Dollar!

Radio detective dramas ofte n ne eded a "hook" in order to stand out in the crowded postwar marketplace. Shows of all types used some sort of gimmick to attract listeners. The real trick was to hold enough listeners to get the program renewed for the next season. Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar held listeners until the end of the golden age of radio era. Few detective radio programs had as many gimmicks as Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar . Being smart-mouthed, independent, and tough had appeal for an audience filled with veterans adjusting to work-a-day civilian life, and tough, smart-mouthed, independent detectives filled the airwaves. A popularly gimmick was the method a detective would find his cases. In Box 13 , Dan Holiday, played by Alan Ladd , had a decidedly generalized Want Ad that brought him interesting clients. Frank Sinatra as Rocky Fortune found cases when he went out on temporary employment. There would be no lack of jobs for Johnny Dollar a

Sam Spade, the Hardest of the Hard Boiled

When we think of a Hard-Boiled Detective , the image that first pops into our heads is none other than Sam Spade . The question is: how accurate is that picture? The answer is both "very" and "not very". It is far from uncommon for a character or even a story to be modified from the original author's vision. This is especially true when a literary character is adapted for other media. What is interesting in  Sam Spade  's  transformation is that the more he is adapted,  the more correct  he feels to the audience. Convention dictates that the  Sam Spade   introduced to us by Dashiell Hammett would be the correct one. Spade seems to be an amalgam of the actual private detectives that Hammett had worked with when he was an investigator. In the introduction, to the 1934 edition of The Maltese Falcon , Hammett writes that the real private detective has no desire "to be an erudite solver of riddles in the Sherlock Holmes manner; he wants to be a hard a