Philip Marlowe, Private Eye

Season 1 Episode 2

The King in Yellow

Aired Unknown Apr 23, 1983 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
9 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The King in Yellow
Brash musician King Leopardi is at the top of the charts, but somebody has made him Number 1 with a bullet. He winds up dead in a singer's bed, and Marlowe needs to figure out who killed the King. The suspects range from jilted lovers to angry managers, and a threatening note that leads Marlowe to an old mystery and a motorcyclist who trades gunshots before the case is all wrapped up.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Lady, You Know My Number

    "King in Yellow" is classic Chandler, and the producers hit the nail on the head with their adaptation. It's an action-heavy episode, something this series didn't always do, but they pull it off well.

    I love how Marlowe handles the groupies who are camped out in and around Leopardi's hotel room, and how he deals with Leopardi himself. Marlowe's a tough guy who can also be sensitive, and while it seems cliche now, Chandler created much of our modern day archetypes with his private eye characters. Powers Boothe is able to balance Marlowe the brute and Marlowe the charmer effortlessly.

    The plot is a bit convoluted, but it all makes sense in the end. The journey to get there is a blast, with plenty of rough and tumble action and a nice denouement that sticks with you after you finish the episode. I'd liken it to the ending of "Chinatown," (not that it is in the same league as the movie, but it does leave you with a melancholy note and a little more thought than you'd expect from a mystery show.)moreless
Michael Billington

Michael Billington

King Leopardi

Guest Star

John Alderson

John Alderson

Gaff Tailey

Guest Star

Nancy Wood

Nancy Wood

Kitty Delome

Guest Star

William Kearns

William Kearns

Lt. Violet Magee

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Marlowe: Magee?
      Magee: Yeah?
      Marlowe: Too much candy rots your teeth.
      Magee: They're false already!

    • Marlowe: I'm an occasional drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard.

    • (Marlowe has found two girls in King Leopardi's hotel room)
      Kitty: We just stopped by to sell Girl Scout cookies.
      Marlowe: Well, no one's buying. So why don't you sew up your pajamas till the longshoreman's convention comes to town?

    • Marlowe: Hollywood was sweating out one of those summer nights, so heavy you could peel the air off like paint off an old studio lot.

    • Marlowe: Dolores Chiozza, a face like angel cake and a body to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.

    • Marlowe: In 24 hours, my executive suite had hardly changed at all. Two new bills rushing the first of the month, two chairs that had never been introduced and a carpet a cat wouldn't have kittens on. I needed a case.

    • Blossom: The King's a friend of mine! Let him in!
      Marlowe: Friend, huh? You planning on massaging his trumpet or lifting his wallet?

    • Dolores: I think Mr. Marlowe would like me to buy him a drink.
      Marlowe: Sounds like I just won second prize.
      Dolores: What's first?
      Marlowe: Letting me buy you one.

    • Marlowe: Has Leopardi showed up yet?
      Bartender: Are you a song-plugger?
      Marlowe: Old friend of his from Princeton.
      Bartender: (incredulous) Princeton?
      Marlowe: (hands him a $10 bill) Coulda been Yale.
      Bartender: Upstairs, last door on the right.

  • NOTES (1)

    • "The King in Yellow" was published in 1938. Originally, the protagonist was a character named Steve Grayce, but when the story was republished it was changed to Marlowe.