Monday, July 18, 2016


A Little Close to Home

I was watching the old Paul Newman southern California private eye film Harper on TCM this weekend and the chief bad woman in it is named Betty Fraley. She's a drug addicted murderer played by Julie Harris.

Wait a minute, I think. I know a Betty Fraley; she's my aunt. Where did they get that name?

The movie is OK. The hippie counter-culture was just beginning to enter movie plots. Everyone in the film is evil or cynical to a fault or both. I liked the Ross McDonald book it was based on, The Moving Target, much better. And the sequel to Harper in 1975, The Drowning Pool, was a much better film. Paul Newman being cynical and witty in the deep South went over much better than being pretty much the same in southern California.

Of note, however, is the fact that the big lummox who beats Newman up in Harper is the same guy that Jack Nicholson beats up in the King of the southern California private eye films, Chinatown.


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