Chandler Takes A Poke At Billy Wilder:
The Little Sister, Chapter 14
|He walked away from me to a tall cylindrical jar in the corner. From this he took one of a number of short thin malacca canes. He began to walk up and down the carpet, swinging the cane deftly past his shoe.
I sat down again and killed my cigarette and took a deep breath. "It could only happen in Hollywood," I grunted.
He made a neat turn and glanced at me. "I beg your pardon."
"That an apparently sane man could walk up and down inside the house with a Picadilly stroll and a monkey stick in his hand."
|In this scene, in which Marlowe is talking with movie agent Sherry Ballou, Chandler takes a dig at Billy Wilder,the writer/director with whom he collaborated on Double Indemnity in 1943 at Paramount. Although their screenplay was a success, he and Wilder did not work well together, particularly because Chandler found many of Wilder's habits insufferable. At one point Chandler delivered a typed list of complaints to Paramount officials, demanding that they be resolved before he would return to working on the script. John Houseman, one of Chandler's few Hollywood friends, remembers one item in particular: "Mr Wilder was at no time to swish under Mr Chandler's nose or to point in his direction the thin, leather-handled malacca cane which Mr Wilder was in the habit of waving around while they worked" (John Houseman, "Lost Fortnight,"The World of Raymond Chandler p. 54).|