Made in 1973 - really dated. Must have been Arnold Schwartzenegger's first on screen appearance - no lines - but he did take his shirt off and his pants. Did not expect the ending. An old fashioned whodunnit with terrible acting.
Awful acting. Convoluted story. Skip the movie. Read the book.
I read three of Raymond Chandler's books. "The Big Sleep" was made into a great movie.
"Farewell, My Lovely" was made into a good movie. Unfortunately, "The Long Goodbye," while an excellent book, was made into a poor movie.
Robert Altman's labyrinthine take on the Raymond Chandler classic is noir unburdened by a straight narrative - it's a triumph of atmosphere and attitude, a swiftly unfolding whodunit punctuated by subversive absurdities and shattering acts of violence.
Exactly why this send-up of Film Noir conventions—adapted from Raymond Chandler’s novel by sci-fi great Leigh Brackett—wound up on so many “best of” lists is beyond me. As a policier it’s about as engrossing as an old rerun of "Barnaby Jones" and as a tilted salute to the age of Bogart, Mitchum, and Lizabeth Scott it’s anemic at best. Director Robert Altman employs his usual modi operandi of restless cameras, overlapping dialogue, and hundreds of criss-crossing extras while legendary cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond films everything in washed-out pastels giving L.A.’s harsher streets a softened watercolour sheen. The overall result is aesthetically pleasing but does little to compensate for a script devoid of any tension and performances which seem a little too ad-libbed. Gould’s anti-hero shambles his way through with a sardonic smirk and perpetually lit cigarette while a supporting cast provide the usual red herrings, most notably a stoned and drunk Sterling Hayden playing a stoned and drunk writer and director Mark Rydell playing a caricature of a Jewish mob boss. The one-liners aren’t clever enough and the little recurring jokes (Marlowe lives next door to a harem of nubile nudists, a security guard does endless movie star impersonations, the film’s theme song keeps popping up in the damnedest places like a piano lounge and Mexican funeral band) get tired after the first couple of passes. Whether taken as an homage or a skewering or a little of both, "The Long Goodbye’s" forced eccentricities and misfired tropes never quite come together. As a bit of trivia however you can look for a silent and uncredited Arnold Schwarzenegger as a bodyguard and for those who grew up watching 1970’s TV commercials Gould’s finicky orange tabby is none other than Morris the 9Lives cat food mascot. Hooray for Hollywood!
Of note is the excellent cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond (1930-2016; Hungarian) who in 1973 won the "National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography" for his work in this film. He also was cinematographer for "The Deer Hunter" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".
Possibly the worst acting ever, except for maybe "The Trial of Billy Jack."
I also didn't like Gould's portrayal of Marlowe, or the way the movie turned out on the whole. Altman has done some great work, of which I wouldn't consider this to be more than a footnote. There were some cool things about the film, and it's possibly worth watching some slow, lonely evening, but, for me, coming at it after reading the Chandler, it just stinks. I realize that's not exactly the point, but Chandler is cool and funny, and this movie is neither. I found it washy, annoying, and cornier than the Great Plains. :/
I like Altman as a director but didn't like this film much. First off, the film is old and the video quality of this disc is poor. Second, the image of a chain-smoking Gould started to get onto my nerves after a while. The plot was OK, but I think the film was over-rated by the film critics at that time.
A good, old-time detective story in its own right but also worth watching the bit-part characters. Arnold gov of california wossname is there, Tom Berringer and a number of others.
Several scenes of exposed female breasts.
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