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Long Goodbye
     

The Long Goodbye

Director: Robert Altman,

Cast: Elliott Gould, Nina Van Pallandt, Sterling Hayden

 

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"It's OK with me...." Applying his deconstructive eye to the "film noir" tradition, Robert Altman updated Raymond Chandler in his 1973 version of Chandler's novel, The Long Goodbye. Smart-aleck, cat-loving private eye Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) is certain that his friend Terry Lennox (Jim Bouton) isn't a wife-killer, even after the cops throw Marlowe in

Overview

"It's OK with me...." Applying his deconstructive eye to the "film noir" tradition, Robert Altman updated Raymond Chandler in his 1973 version of Chandler's novel, The Long Goodbye. Smart-aleck, cat-loving private eye Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) is certain that his friend Terry Lennox (Jim Bouton) isn't a wife-killer, even after the cops throw Marlowe in jail for not cooperating with their investigation into Lennox's subsequent disappearance. Once he gets out of jail, Marlowe starts to conduct his own search when he discovers that mysterious blonde Eileen Wade (Nina Van Pallandt), who hired him to find her alcoholic novelist husband Roger (Sterling Hayden), lives on the same Malibu street as the absent Lennox and his deceased spouse. As numerous variations on the title song play in unexpected places, Marlowe encounters a shady doctor (Henry Gibson), a bottle-wielding gangster (director Mark Rydell), and a guard aping Barbara Stanwyck (among other stars), before heading to Mexico to stumble onto the truth once and for all.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Gray
Robert Altman was at the absolute top of his craft when he made this revisionist detective gem in 1973 -- one of a string of similarly skewed genre masterpieces that included McCabe & Mrs. Miller and Nashville. Elliott Gould stars as an unkempt, mumbling update of Raymond Chandler’s seminal Los Angeles private investigator, Philip Marlowe. This gumshoe lives in a dump of an apartment with his finicky cat, across from a group of scantily clad young women who pass their days baking hash brownies and doing tantric yoga. When an old friend (played by former baseball player and author Jim Bouton) drops by needing help, Marlowe finds himself drawn into a murky swirl of deception, murder, suicide, and missing persons. Altman, Gould, and veteran screenwriter Leigh Brackett create a character who brilliantly suggests the way the rigidly moral 1940s detective of Chandler’s fiction might function if he were plopped down into the shallow, transient world of the "me decade." The unexpected finale will be as shocking to traditionalists as it is poetically appropriate. Photographed to perfection by Vilmos Zsigmond, the film is also distinguished by its superb supporting cast, with especially strong performances from a bearded Sterling Hayden and an occasionally topless Mark Rydell. MGM’s DVD release of The Long Goodbye gets top marks for its impeccable wide-screen transfer and a terrific selection of shorts that includes surprisingly candid interviews with Altman and Gould, plus an interesting piece focusing on Zsigmond’s photographic approach. All in all, a fitting package for one of the best films of the 1970s.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Alternately a cheeky send-up of Hollywood and a cutting revision of the powerful detective and his moral code, the movie, co-written by Robert Altman with Leigh Brackett, who co-scripted The Big Sleep in 1946, presents a Marlowe wholly adrift in 1970s Los Angeles. Unlike the ultra-cool version of Marlowe embodied by The Big Sleep's Humphrey Bogart, Elliott Gould's Marlowe is a man out of his time, driving a vintage sedan and impervious to the hippie girls who live across from him. The truth he discovers only confirms how much the moral universe of the old Hollywood Marlowe no longer applies to contemporary California, and, despite his passive refrain, that's not OK with him. Altman's widescreen, zoom-lens shots layer characters upon each other while constantly shifting the composition, emphasizing that people are never as they seem and that events are out of Marlowe's control. Marlowe's impotence and Altman's acerbic tone did not sit well with critics or audiences, nor did TV censors approve of Marlowe's final capacity for violence; the original ending was re-edited for TV prints. Despite its cool reception in 1973, Altman's appraisal of the powers of Hollywood myth made The Long Goodbye one of the more telling 1970s reworkings of the film noir tradition, as well as a central player in Altman's ongoing 1970s effort to revisit major Hollywood genres in light of contemporary American values.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/25/2014
UPC:
0738329148720
Original Release:
1973
Rating:
R
Source:
Kl Studio Classics
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:52:00
Sales rank:
6,366

Special Features

"Rip Van Marlowe" featurette with Rogert Altman and Elliott Gould; American Cinematographer 1973 article intro with animation; Vilmos Zxigmond flashes The Long Goodbye; Five radio spots; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Elliott Gould Philip Marlowe
Nina Van Pallandt Eileen Wade
Sterling Hayden Roger Wade
Master Henry Gibson Dr. Veeringer
Mark Rydell Marty Augustine
Jim Bouton Terry Lennox
Rutanya Alda Rutanya Sweet
David Arkin Harry
Warren Berlinger Morgan
Jo Ann Brody Jo Ann Eggenweiler
Pepe Callahan Pepe
David Carradine Prisoner
Steve Coit Detective Farmer
Eddie Constantine Actor
Pancho Cordoba Doctor
John Davies Detective Dayton
Danny Goldman Bartender
Jerry Jones Detective Green
Herb Kerns Herbie
Jack Knight Hood
Enrique Lucero Jake
Helen Mirren Actor
Vincent Palmieri Vince
Jack Riley Piano Player
Ken Sansom Colony Guard
Arnold Schwarzenegger Augustine's Hood
Sybil Scotford Real Estate Lady
Leslie Simms Olive (uncredited)

Technical Credits
Robert Altman Director
Bill Miller Makeup
Leigh Brackett Screenwriter
Elliott Kastner Executive Producer
Lou Lombardo Editor
Johnny Mercer Songwriter
Tommy Thompson Asst. Director
John Williams [composer] Score Composer
Vilmos Zsigmond Cinematographer
Jerry Bick Producer
John V. Speak Sound/Sound Designer
Raymond Chandler Source Author

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Long Goodbye
1. Chapter 1 [:11]
2. Chapter 2 [12:44]
3. Chapter 3 [22:16]
4. Chapter 4 [20:15]
5. Chapter 5 [15:13]
6. Chapter 6 [10:30]
7. Chapter 7 [9:18]
8. Chapter 8 [11:04]
9. Chapter 9 [10:40]

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