National / International News

Who's the real-life inspiration for L.A. noir?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:56

Who was Samuel Marlowe? That's something Los Angeles Times writer Daniel Miller spent a year trying to find out. 

A Jamaican immigrant, Marlowe fought in World War I. After settling in Los Angeles, he became one of California's first African-American private detectives, frequenting the speak-easies of 1930s L.A. and getting private investigative work from the Hollywood studios.

If Marlowe is starting to sound like a real-life noir character, it's because he probably is. Miller thinks Marlowe was friends with LA noir writers Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, whose novels seem to immortalize him in fiction.

"One of the best examples is a claim that Dashiell Hammett sent an early draft of a story called 'Night Shade' to Samuel Marlowe," Miller says.

But Miller's detective work on Marlowe ultimately has no conclusion. Many of the records that might have proven when Marlowe started as a PI are lost, and Hammett and Chandler aren't around to reveal their artistic inspirations.

As Miller says "Noir stories, they don't always end tidily, with all the loose ends tied up." 

Hillsborough campaigners made CBEs

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:55
Two Hillsborough justice campaigners are appointed CBE in the New Year Honours list.

Mini skirt queen leads honours list

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:48
Mary Quant, the designer widely credited with making the mini skirt popular, is among those in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

VIDEO: Hundred held after Russia protest

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:46
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and more than 100 other demonstrators have been arrested at a rally in central Moscow, activists say.

Palestinian UN resolution fails

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:42
The UN Security Council rejects a resolution demanding an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories within three years.

AirAsia crash recovery intensifies

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:37
Recovery teams are launching a "massive search" for victims of AirAsia flight QZ8501, as investigators hunt for the plane's data recorders.

Wind-up radio inventor honoured

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:34
Inventor Trevor Baylis - who designed the wind-up Baygen radio - has been appointed a CBE in the New Year Honours list.

Honours for Rugby World Cup winners

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:33
Rugby World Cup winners Rochelle Clark and Sarah Hunter are among the sports stars on the New Year's Honours list.

Scots honoured in New Year list

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:32
About 150 Scots, including Commonwealth judo star Euan Burton and MP Anne McGuire, make the New Year Honours list.

Knighthood for 'father of Viagra'

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:31
Two chemists, one who started research on Viagra and a YouTube celebrity, along with a former NFU president, receives knighthoods in the New Year Honours.

New Year Honours: Twelve famous faces

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:30
Twelve of the big-name recipients on the 2015 list

More than 80 New Year Honours for NI

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:30
More than 80 people in Northern Ireland receive awards in the Queen's New Year Honours list 2015, with the highest honour given to Olympian Dame Mary Peters.

VIDEO: SBTV founder gets New Year Honour

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:30
Jamal Edwards, founder of SBTV, talks about being on the New Year Honours List and what the future holds.

VIDEO: Steve Cram: CBE honour 'a privilege'

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:30
Steve Cram talks about being awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours List.

Ashdown recognised in Honours List

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:30
Ex-Lib Dem leader Lord Ashdown and Tory peer Lord Young are among politicians recognised in the New Year's Honours List.

Knighthood for actor John Hurt

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:30
Veteran actor John Hurt receives a knighthood in the New Year Honours. and Joan Collins and Esther Rantzen are made dames in the New Year Honours.

VIDEO: Tower poppy designer awarded MBE

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:30
Tom Piper, theatrical designer of the Tower of London poppy installation, is honoured by the Queen in her New Year Honours List.

VIDEO: Joan Collins: 'Thrilled to be a dame'

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:30
Actress Joan Collins talks about how she feels about being made a dame in the New Year Honours List.

VIDEO: Hillsborough dad 'pleased' with CBE

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:30
Trevor Hicks, who lost two of his daughters in the Hillsborough disaster, has been given a CBE for his services to other families bereaved by the tragedy.

VIDEO: Rantzen 'can't adjust' to being a Dame

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 13:30
Esther Rantzen, the former television presenter and founder of ChildLine, has been made a Dame in the New Year's Honours list.