Movie Genres: Detective Stories

The detective story is not a genuinely cinematic genre, bur rather a nineteenth century literary invention.

Edgar Allan Poe is credited with the invention of the genre, and “Murder in the Rue Morgue,” published in 1841, is regarded as the first detective story.

Raymond Chandler supplanted Dashiell Hammett as major detective writer source of the 1940s, the best decade in Hollywood for the genre.

Chandler’s creation, Philip Marlowe, was just about played by every major actor.

Dick Powell in Murder My Sweet, 1944

Bogart in The Big Sleep, 1946

Robert Montgomery in Lady in the Lake, 1945

James Garner in Marlowe, 1969

Robert Mitchum in Farewell, My ovely, 1975