Tue 30 Sep 2008
In my review of Sarah Stewart Taylor’s book Judgment of the Grave, in the post just preceding this one, I referred to it as noirish, but truth be told, the word surprised me when I wrote it. It came out naturally, but believe it or not, calling the book “noir” hadn’t occurred to me until that very moment.
It’s really a detective story with darker than usual overtones, and it’s very possible that Ms. Taylor had nothing more than that on her mind when she wrote it. So I’ve been puzzling it over. Why did my subconscious take over like that?
Is the book noir? Probably not, but I said in my original comments, with a slight but deliberate change of focus and intent, it could have been. (The marketing efforts were probably along the lines of it being an academic cosy.)
But continuing in the direction I was thinking, since I mentioned a black-and-white film version, I’ve come up with a possible cast, if the movie were to have been made back in the 1950s:
Sweeney St. George – Ruth Roman
Tim Quinn – Dane Clark
Ian (Sweeney’s friend in England) – Zachary Scott
Beverly Churchill (the missing man’s wife) – Beverly Garland
Cecily Whiting (mother of the boy with leukemia) – Mercedes McCambridge
Bruce Whiting (divorced from Cecily) – Robert Ryan
Lauren Whiting (Bruce’s new wife) – Gloria Grahame
George Whiting (Bruce’s father) – James Whitmore
Will Baker (local innkeeper) – Raymond Burr
With a cast like that, there’d be no doubt. Not so?