Poodle Springs
Based onPoodle Springs
by Raymond Chandler
Robert B. Parker
Screenplay byTom Stoppard
Directed byBob Rafelson
StarringJames Caan
Dina Meyer
David Keith
Music byMichael Small
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producersJon Avnet
William Horberg
Jordan Kerner
Sydney Pollack
Geoff Stier (co-executive producer)
ProducersTony Mark
DTeflon (assistant producer)
CinematographyStuart Dryburgh
EditorSteven Cohen
Running time100 minutes
Production companiesAvnet/Kerner Productions
Mirage Enterprises
HBO Pictures
Universal Television
Original release
  • July 25, 1998 (1998-07-25)

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.

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. ^ a b c Bhob Stewart (2014). "Poodle Springs". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2014-10-18.