7.7/10
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153 user 132 critic

The Long Goodbye (1973)

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

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Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Nina van Pallandt ...
...
...
...
...
Harry
Jim Bouton ...
...
Morgan
Jo Ann Brody ...
Jo Ann Eggenweiler
...
Detective Farmer (as Steve Coit)
...
Mabel
Pepe Callahan ...
Pepe
Vincent Palmieri ...
Vince (as Vince Palmieri)
Pancho Córdova ...
Doctor (as Pancho Cordoba)
Enrique Lucero ...
Jefe
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Nothing says goodbye like a bullet. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 May 1973 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Der Tod kennt keine Wiederkehr  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,700,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To compensate for the harsh light of Southern California, Robert Altman gave the film a soft pastel look reminiscent of old postcards from the 1940s. See more »

Goofs

When the cat won't eat, the position of the cat and food dish change. See more »

Quotes

Detective: Listen - what are you here for, Marlowe?
Philip Marlowe: [smearing fingerprint ink under his eyes] Well I'm here 'cause I'm gettin' ready for the big game Saturday. You know, we're playing Notre Dame and I hope I catch a touchdown pass.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Harry and the Hendersons: The Long Goodbyes: Part 1 (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Hooray for Hollywood
(uncredited)
from Hollywood Hotel (1937)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed by Johnnie Davis
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User Reviews

 
Pivotal Seventies Masterpiece
18 September 2002 | by (Aberdeen, Scotland) – See all my reviews

Altman was on a roll by 1973 when he chose to film Leigh Brackett's screenplay of Raymond Chandler's "The Long Goodbye", which is considered his last great novel. But Altman decided to transmogrify the novel's serious hard-nosed private eye, Philip Marlowe into a bumbling "Rip Van Winkle" type character who has figuratively been asleep for the last two decades and has missed all the psychedelia of the Sixties and the dark cloud descended in the Seventies. And who better to play such a role, than the great Elliot Gould? Even though the novel's tone and time period have been changed, the highly-complex plot remains, and due attention must be paid.

One of the film's greatest strengths, is the cinematography by the great Hungarian DP, Vilmos Zsigmond. He has worked with Altman on "McCabe & Mrs Miller" (1971) and "Images" (1972) and on the former, he used a technique known as "flashing", this was an unpredictable method for eliminating contrast from the negative to give a pastel look to the show and to bring out subtle shadows in the nighttime scenes by exposing the already-exposed negative to more light in the lab during processing. But on "McCabe", it was used in moderation, but on "The Long Goodbye", he, Altman and Skip Nicholson at Technicolor all worked together to more or less use varying degrees of flashing for the WHOLE picture! It was a big risk, but it paid off - the movie has a look all of it's own. The camera constantly keeps moving in this film and gives a the viewer a great sense of voyeurism and keeps you studying the frame for details. This film is a visual marvel, in my opinion.

Altman excelled himself here, he took risks and put all he could into the film, and I think that "The Long Goodbye" can now be seen as a pivotal Seventies masterpiece - though those words may be hard to swallow for some people.

Thanks for reading.


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