In Michael Oldfield's illustrated history of the band to date
, published in 1984, Knopfler said the song was sparked off by something he'd read about Philip Marlowe, adding, "You hear different interpretations of it, but to me it's deliberately movie."
Philip Marlowe was the private detective created by the American novelist Raymond Chandler. The Marlowe novels could have been tailor made for film noir
, a style of cinema that evolved in the United States after the Second World War. These were often low-budget gangster films made in black and white and portraying the underside of the American dream. Marlowe found his way onto both the big screen and TV.
"Private Investigations" captures the genre more than any other song, including contemporary songs. If it had been written 30 years earlier it would almost certainly have won an Oscar for a film noir
Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2