Poodle Springs (film)

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Poodle Springs
File:Poodle Springs (film).jpg
Directed by Bob Rafelson
Produced by Jon Avnet
William Horberg
Jordan Kerner
Tony Mark
Sydney Pollack
Geoff Stier
Screenplay by Tom Stoppard
Based on Poodle Springs 
by Raymond Chandler
Robert B. Parker
Starring James Caan
Dina Meyer
David Keith
Music by Michael Small
Cinematography Stuart Dryburgh
Edited by Steven Cohen
Distributed by HBO
Release dates
  • July 25, 1998 (1998-07-25)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Poodle Springs is a 1998 neo-noir HBO film directed by Bob Rafelson, starring James Caan as private detective Philip Marlowe.[1]

The film is based on the unfinished novel Poodle Springs by Raymond Chandler, completed after his death by Robert B. Parker and published in 1989.[1]

Playwright Tom Stoppard wrote the screenplay.[1]


In 1963, an aging Philip Marlowe (James Caan) is newly married to young socialite Laura Parker (Dina Meyer). The private investigator leaves his Los Angeles apartment behind and sets up a new base of operations in Poodle Springs, an upscale community in the desert a couple hours from L.A. (a parody of Palm Springs), where he and his wife intend to live.

"I don't do divorces," Marlowe impatiently explains to potential clients in a peaceful, relatively crime-free town. His rich wife Laura would prefer that Philip get out of this line of work entirely and live off her money or come into business with P.J. Parker (Joe Don Baker), her politically connected father, but Marlowe isn't ready to permanently hang up his gun.

As might be expected, crime follows Marlowe wherever he may be. While looking into a matter at a gambling club just beyond the city limits, Marlowe sets out to find a photographer with a gambling debt and is soon mixed up in blackmail and murder.

Larry Victor, the photographer (David Keith), is a bigamist, two-timing Laura's wealthy friend Muffy (Julia Campbell) with a drug addict named Angel (Nia Peeples), and he is threatening to expose photos of a former stripper (La Joy Farr) who is now running with Muffy's billionaire father, Clayton Blackstone (Brian Cox).

As things progress, Marlowe realizes that his new father-in-law is involved in a land swindle on such a massive scale that it could end up altering the California/Nevada state border. And any further snooping on the detective's part could quickly put an end to his wedded bliss.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Poodle Springs". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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