The Long Goodbye

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Director Robert Altman's 1973 film adaptation of Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye (with Elliott Gould as private eye Philip Marlowe) is an engrossing, clever takeoff on both the mystery genre and early 70s Californian lifestyles. After Marlowe helps an old friend accused of murder flee Los Angeles for Mexico, he becomes involved in a series of bizarre situations and characters (including Sterling Hayden's washed-up author, a sinister pop psychologist played by Henry Gibson and a nasty coke-bottle smashing gangster played by Altman's fellow director Mark Rydell), all the while (seemingly) keeping his cool. ("It's okay with me," is Marlowe's frequent reaction on the increasingly out-of-control proceedings.) But in an unforgettable scene that drove Chandler fans nuts, an angry, betrayed Marlowe finally decides it's NOT okay and gets even for all the slights he went through. (The fans thought Marlowe's reaction in the film's climax, which was very different from the 1954 novel's, was out-of-character; judge for yourselves.) Also with Nina Van Pallandt, Jim Bouton, and two blink-and-you'll-miss-them cameos by David Carradine and Arnold Schwazenegger . Terrific photography by Vilmos Zsigmond.
-Ed

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This page contains a single entry published on December 18, 2008 5:07 PM.

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