The Long Goodbye

Detective Philip Marlowe tries to help a friend who is accused of murdering his wife.
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Credits: TheMovieDb.

Film Cast:

  • Philip Marlowe: Elliott Gould
  • Eileen Wade: Nina van Pallandt
  • Roger Wade: Sterling Hayden
  • Marty Augustine: Mark Rydell
  • Dr. Verringer: Henry Gibson
  • Harry: David Arkin
  • Terry Lennox: Jim Bouton
  • Morgan: Warren Berlinger
  • Hood in Augustine’s Office (uncredited): Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Jo Ann Eggenweiler: Jo Ann Brody
  • Detective Farmer: Stephen Coit
  • Mabel: Jack Knight
  • Pepe: Pepe Callahan
  • Vince: Vincent Palmieri
  • Doktor: Pancho Córdova
  • Jeffe: Enrique Lucero
  • Rutanya Sweet: Rutanya Alda
  • Dancer: Tammy Shaw
  • Riley: Jack Riley
  • Colony Guard: Ken Sansom
  • Detective Green: Jerry Jones
  • Det. Dayton: John Davies
  • Supermarket Clerk: Rodney Moss
  • Real Estate Lady: Sybil Scotford
  • Herbie: Herb Kerns
  • Ambulance Driver (uncredited): Robert Altman
  • Dave aka Socrates (uncredited): David Carradine
  • Wade Party Guest (uncredited): Carl Gottlieb
  • Cop at Beach (uncredited): George Wyner
  • Lucille (uncredited): Leslie McRay

Film Crew:

  • Original Music Composer: John Williams
  • Sound Engineer: John Speak
  • Screenplay: Leigh Brackett
  • Editor: Lou Lombardo
  • Producer: Elliott Kastner
  • Director: Robert Altman
  • Director of Photography: Vilmos Zsigmond
  • Novel: Raymond Chandler
  • Producer: Jerry Bick
  • Costume Design: Kent James
  • Costume Design: Marjorie Wahl
  • Makeup Artist: Bill Miller
  • Unit Publicist: Regina Gruss
  • Gaffer: Randy Glass

Movie Reviews:

  • Wuchak: _**An honest, outdated private eye stuck in the Bizarro world of modern L.A.**_

    A detached chain-smoking private detective in Los Angeles (Elliott Gould) finds himself hounded by the police after driving a friend to Mexico late one night (Jim Bouton). Upon taking a gig by the wife of a writer to find her missing alcoholic husband (Nina van Pallandt & Sterling Hayden) he finds himself staving off gangsters in search of $350,000 (Mark Rydell, David Arkin, etc.) while trying to connect the dots. Henry Gibson is on hand as a Southern Cal quack.

    “The Long Goodbye” (1973) is a crime drama/mystery with Altman’s art-film style that takes Raymond Chandler’s 1953 novel and transports it to twenty years in the future with muttering Philip Marlowe (Gould) being anachronistic in modern sun-drenched L.A. with its nude sunbathers, all-night supermarkets, swank beach houses, eccentric artists, hedonists, medical quacks, avaricious gangsters and fitness nuts. (Speaking of the latter, watch out for a young Arnold Schwarzenegger in his second film role, although it’s just a glorified cameo).

    Screenwriter Leigh Brackett naturally changed a few things in the story with the most radical being a slightly different ending, which offends purists, but totally works for me (for reasons I can’t explain because I don’t want to spoil anything). These changes plus Altman’s quirky flair turned off critics upon the film’s initial release, although both Siskel & Ebert gave it a ‘Thumbs Up’ with Gene liking it even more than Roger. The movie was rereleased with a more accurate ad campaign, utilizing Mad magazine’s Jack Davis to do the poster (Google it), wherein it was received better, gaining back some money. It has gone on to become a deserved cult movie in the decades since. Nevertheless, this was pretty much the end of Gould’s career as a leading man (although he continued to be a successful working actor).

    It took me a while to acclimate to the muttering private eye trapped in the Bizarro world of Southern Cal approach, not to mention the improvisational feel, but the flick won me over. Being a cat lover, the opening sequence caught my interest, but there’s a LOT to like here, including the idea of an old-fashioned honest man pushed around and underestimated by everyone, yet ultimately revealing his expertise and strength (which brings to mind Columbo). To appreciate it, you have to be braced for something different, which of course Altman is known for.

    The film runs 1 hour, 52 minutes, and was shot in Malibu, Los Angeles, Pasadena and Morelos, Mexico.

    GRADE: B

  • JPV852: Pretty good 1970s-era neo-noir drama almost entirely relies on the performance from Elliot Gould and the mystery element was well done, though the ending was somewhat predictable but satisfying. **3.75/5**
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