The Long Goodbye (1973)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  7 March 1973 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 17,091 users  
Reviews: 140 user | 122 critic

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



(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nina van Pallandt ...
Jim Bouton ...
Warren Berlinger ...
Jo Ann Brody ...
Jo Ann Eggenweiler
Stephen Coit ...
Detective Farmer (as Steve Coit)
Jack Knight ...
Pepe Callahan ...
Vincent Palmieri ...
Vince (as Vince Palmieri)
Pancho Córdova ...
Doctor (as Pancho Cordoba)
Enrique Lucero ...


In the middle of the night, private eye Philip Marlowe drives his friend Terry Lennox to the Mexican border. When Marlowe returns home police are waiting for him and learns that Terry's wife Sylvia has been killed. He's arrested as an accessory but released after a few days and is told the case is closed since Terry Lennox has seemingly committed suicide in Mexico. Marlowe is visited by mobster Marty Augustine who wants to know what happened to the $350,000 Lennox was supposed to deliver for him. Meanwhile, Marlowe is hired by Eileen Wade to find her husband Roger who has a habit of disappearing when he wants to dry out but she can't find him in any any of his usual haunts. He finds him at Dr. Veringer's clinic and brings him. It soon becomes obvious to Marlowe that Terry's death, the Wades and Augustine are all somehow interconnected. Figuring out just what those connections are however will be anything but easy. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Nothing says goodbye like a bullet. See more »


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 March 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Tod kennt keine Wiederkehr  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Originally released in Los Angeles with a poster campaign more appropriate to James Bond movies, or the Flint spoof series, the film made little impact in the City of Angels. A different advertising campaign was designed for its New York release, where it was a considerable success. See more »


The ink handprints include the palm of Marlowe's hand, but it did not appear that the palm of his hand was on the ink pad. See more »


Colony guard: Oh. Hi, Mr. Lennox. Say, you're up kinda late.
Terry Lennox: Come on, lay it on me.
Colony guard: Okay. Let's see, I didn't - Barbara Stanwyck, I've been working on Barbara Stanwyck.
[as Barbara Stanwyck]
Colony guard: 'I don't understand. I don't understand it at all. I've never understood it, Walter. I just don't understand why I don't understand it all. I don't...
Terry Lennox: Okay, just remember that and you'll be alright.
See more »


Referenced in L.A. Law: The Lung Goodbye (1987) See more »


Hooray for Hollywood
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed by Johnnie Davis
See more »

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User Reviews

The Best adapted screenplay of all time?
25 February 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I can say, without feeling too stupid, that is my favourite film of all time.

It has it all, firstly an incredibly brave screenplay that brought Raymond Chandler forward a generation after Bogart's best attempts to turn the great author into an insomnia remedy.

The casting of Elliot Gould as Marlowe is a stroke of genius - this Marlowe is undoubtedly very cool, but his 'coolness' comes from his idiosyncrasies, nerdy quirks and inability to fit into defined social circles. Sterling Hayden's performance, for me out-does his work on Dr Strangelove and can be added to Jack Nicholson in The Shining, Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy and Brando in The Godfather as one of the finest examples of character acting you will ever come across. His 'Hemingwayesque' alcoholic rages are violent, visceral and disturbing and yet he contains a brittle fragility that draws you to his performance.

The shining light though is Altman. Not only did he get the best career performances out of his finely assembled ensemble (did Gould, Hayden or Van Pallant ever do better?), but also produced one of the best shot films of all time. Only bettered in this era by Coppola's The Conversation (not a bad film to come second to).

On top of all this is an overwhelming sense of the auteur, the soundtrack, camera work and acting performances all combine to create a synthesis of near perfect cinema.

Turn your computer off, run out of the house and rent/steal or buy this film. Watch it, you won't be disappointed.

69 of 108 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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