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The Long Goodbye (1973) Poster

Trivia

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Elliott Gould has said that so long as he is physically able he holds out hopes that he could reprise the role of Phillip Marlowe. He has a screenplay entitled "It's Always Now," based on a Raymond Chandler story, "The Curtain." The Chandler estate sold him the rights to the story for $1.
One of the very early screen roles of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The location for Sterling Hayden's home was actually Robert Altman's home at the time.
Robert Altman decided that the camera should never stop moving, and put it on a dolly. However, the camera movements would counter the actions of the characters so that the audience would feel like a voyeur.
Elliott Gould smokes in every scene.
The movie's ending, different from the source novel, is usually attributed to director Robert Altman. It actually appeared in Leigh Brackett's original script, written before Altman signed on. Altman liked the new ending so much that he insisted on a clause in his contract that guaranteed the ending wouldn't be changed during production or editing.
Elliott Gould improvised the scene in police custody in which he smears fingerprint ink all over his face.
Sterling Hayden wrote his own scenes.
Elliott Gould had not worked in two years. Gould had been blackballed in the film industry due to his erratic behavior on the set of "A Glimpse of Tiger" (which eventually morphed into What's Up, Doc? (1972)). But Robert Altman insisted on casting Gould and this film served as a comeback for him.
Robert Altman is visible talking on a walkie-talking in the front seat of an ambulance just after Marlowe is struck by a car.
The time period of Raymond Chandler's novel "The Long Goodbye" was updated from it original era of 1949-1950 to the Hollywood of the 1970s. Despite this, Phillip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) still drives a car from the 1940s and still earns a daily salary typical of gumshoe private eyes from older days.
The producers' original choices for Philip Marlowe were Lee Marvin and Robert Mitchum, the latter of whom would later in the 1970s play Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1978) and Farewell, My Lovely (1975).
In the commentary on the DVD, Robert Altman talks about how sad he was that Leigh Brackett, the screenwriter, died before the film was released and never saw the completed work. In fact Bracket died in 1979, shortly after completing the first draft of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) for George Lucas, and thus lived long enough to see the finished film.
John Williams and Johnny Mercer's title song crops up in various guises throughout the film, including on the radio, as a dirge played at a funeral by a Mexican marching band, and even as the first couple of notes of the Wades' doorbell.
Both Leigh Brackett and Robert Altman have said that Sterling Hayden and Elliot Gould''s dialogue during the drinking scenes was improvised. This was because Hayden was drunk and stoned on marijuana most of the time.
One of five movies actor Elliott Gould made with director Robert Altman. The films include MASH (1970), Nashville (1975), The Player (1992), California Split (1974) and The Long Goodbye (1973).
Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond tried to approximate human vision through the post-production technique of exposing the undeveloped negative to additional pure light, which literally dampens blacks and softens intense colors until they become pastel hues.
Playing Phillip Marlowe's friend Terry Lennox was a non-actor, former Major League Baseball pitcher Jim Bouton, who is also the author of the best seller book, "Ball Four".
Movie stars impersonated at the entrance of the Malibu Colony by its gate-keeper included Cary Grant, James Stewart, Barbara Stanwyck and Walter Brennan.
The film is dedicated to Dan Blocker in the closing credits. The dedication states: "With Special Remembrance for Dan Blocker)". Robert Altman, who had directed many early episodes of Bonanza (1959), had originally cast his friend Blocker in the role of Roger Wade, but he died before filming commenced. The role subsequently was filled by Sterling Hayden.
Except for "Hooray for Hollywood" at the beginning and at the end, all the music in this film is different arrangements of the theme tune.
Marlowe always wears a tie with American flags on it (the tie looks plain red in the movie due to cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond's post-flashing techniques.
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The make and model of the white hooded-top black car that Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) drove was a 1948 Cabriolet Lincoln Continental Convertible (876H-56). According to the book "Robert Altman" by Jansen and Schütte, the car is owned by Gould.
The movie was part of a predominantly 1970s revival cycle of pictures adapted from novels by Raymond Chandler. The films included Marlowe (1969), The Big Sleep (1978), The Long Goodbye (1973) and i_Farewell, My Lovely (1975)_ as well as a TV version of Double Indemnity (1973) -- which was previously adapted by Chandler and Billy Wilder from a novel by James M. Cain.
The idea to to have every playing of the film's theme song "The Long Goodbye" mixed and/or arranged differently was a concept suggested by director Robert Altman. As such, there are around six different credits for the film's title song, it is performed in the film by The Dave Grusin Trio, Jack Sheldon, Clydie King, Jack Riley, the Morgan Ames' Aluminum Band, and also The Tepoztlan Municipal Band.
Two taglines on movie posters for the picture were fabricated Phillip Marlowe quotes. They were, "Nothing says goodbye like a bullet" and "I have two friends in the world. One is a cat. The other is a murderer".
The film's screenwriter Leigh Brackett twenty-seven years earlier co-wrote the script for the classic The Big Sleep (1946) which was also based on a Raymond Chandler novel and also featured the Philip Marlowe character.
Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould)'s credo was "It's okay with me!".
Although Sterling Hayden was Robert Altman's reluctant second choice to play Wade, the director was thrilled with his performance.
Morris the Cat first did his "finicky" routine in this film.
When the police are responding to the suicide of Roger Wade, Phillip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) becomes irate that they don't believe that Roger Wade could have murdered Terry Lennox' wife. He yells that he's going to call Ronald Reagan (then the governor) to protest their inaction. In the very next scene, Marlowe is brought to Marty Augustine's office for a shakedown. One of Augustine's bodyguards is an uncredited Arnold Schwarzenegger, later elected Governor of California. Thus Marlowe, in a way, gets to meet the governor.
A portrait of Leonard Cohen is visible in the background during the scene where Philip Marlowe and Eileen Wade are dining together in the Wades' residence. Robert Altman was an admirer of Cohen's, having used three of his songs - 'The Stranger Song', 'Sisters of Mercy' and 'Winter Lady', all from the soundtrack of his earlier western McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971).
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Playing Marty Augustine, director Mark Rydell returned to acting for this movie after an absence of around a decade. After this film, Rydell wouldn't appear again in a filmed production for another fifteen years, until Punchline (1988) in 1988.
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Reportedly, director Robert Altman did not read all of Raymond Chandler's novel "The Long Goodbye" prior to production. Instead, Altman preferred to consult Chandler's a collection of letters and essays, "Raymond Chandler Speaking". Copies of this book were given to cast and crew who were advised to study it.
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To help establish with the cast and crew the kind of tone he was trying to create, Robert Altman circulated on the set a little-known letter that Raymond Chandler had written, as well as his essay collection "Raymond Chandler Speaking". Both pieces are notable for revealing Chandler's underlying suicidal tendencies.
The film was made and released about twenty years after its source novel of the same name by Raymond Chandler had been first published in 1953. According to 'Time Out', the film "stays pretty close to the novel's basic narrative (though there are a couple of crucial changes)". That publication also stated that there were "cries of outrage from hard-line [Raymond] Chandler purists".
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Arnold Schwarzenegger has no lines in the film.
The directing job was offered to both Howard Hawks (who had directed Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep (1946)) and Peter Bogdanovich who both turned it down. Bogdanovich recommended Robert Altman who initially turned it down as well. The producers then engaged Brian G. Hutton, who ultimately didn't do it although he got Elliott Gould on board. It's been alleged that Altman did the picture when the producers were willing to cast pal Elliott Gould who had starred in Altman's earlier film MASH (1970).
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.
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The "Hooray for Hollywood" music at the beginning and end of the film is a promotional trailer for an RKO film made in 1937 (Hollywood Hotel (1937)) featuring the Benny Goodman and His Orchestra. The members of the orchestra are the male voices singing, and the voice saying "Be an actor, see Mr. Factor, he'll make your kisser look good" belongs to drummer Gene Krupa. The actual promo film itself is featured in the documentary Benny Goodman: Adventures in the Kingdom of Swing (1977).
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When Marlowe is trying to get the dog to move away from his car, he calls it Asta. This is the name of the dog owned by Nick and Nora Charles in Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man stories.
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Phillip Marlowe (Elliott Gould)'s fee was $50 per day plus expenses.
Marlowe's car was a 1948 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet that belonged to Elliott Gould. In 2013 it was in The National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection) in Reno, Nevada, and where it had been repainted yellow.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Both the first American and first English-language film of Danish actress Nina van Pallandt.
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Not known for making genre movies, Robert Altman would about 25 years later make another filmed adaptation from a story by a novelist in the mystery/thriller genre, this time it not being from Raymond Chandler but being based on a discarded manuscript by John Grisham, it being the movie The Gingerbread Man (1998).
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The Spanish phrase on Phillip Marlowe's pet door said "El Porto del Gato" which translates as "The Door of the Cat".
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In the short documentary Rip Van Marlowe (2002) on the DVD, the words "deleted scene" flash on black and white production stills of Steve McQueen, Elliott Gould and Robert Altman. Supposedly McQueen would have had a cameo as Sam Spade going up in an elevator with Marlowe.
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Robert Altman and Leigh Brackett spent a lot of time talking over the plot. Altman wanted Marlowe to be a loser. He even nicknamed Elliott Gould's character Rip Van Marlowe, as if he had been asleep for 20 years, had woken up, and was wandering around Los Angeles in the early 1970s but "trying to invoke the morals of a previous era". Her first draft was too long, and she shortened it, but the ending was inconclusive. She had Marlowe shooting Terry Lennox. Altman conceived of the film as a satire and made several changes to the script, like having Roger Wade commit suicide and having Marty Augustine smash a Coke bottle across his girlfriend's face. Altman said, "it was supposed to get the attention of the audience and remind them that, in spite of Marlowe, there is a real world out there, and it is a violent world".
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The license plate number of the Mercedes Benz that Eileen Wade (Nina van Pallandt) drove read "LOV YOU".
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Part of a 1970s revival cycle of film noir and hard-boiled detective movies which included such non-Chandler fare as Gumshoe (1971), Chinatown (1974), and The Black Bird (1975). Five Chandler filmed adaptations were made around this period including this cinema movie.
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Robert Altman received a copy of the script while shooting Images (1972) in Ireland. He liked the ending because it was so out of character for Marlowe. He agreed to direct but only if the ending was not changed.
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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.
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Some movie posters for this film described its central character of Phillip Marlowe as being "The greatest of all private eye characters - Created by Raymond Chandler".
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One of a number of 1970s spoofs of film noir and hard-boiled detective films of the 1940s from the likes of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, some of which starred Humphrey Bogart, who was the main target of the parodies. The films included Peeper (1975), The Long Goodbye (1973), Woody Allen's Play It Again, Sam (1972), Murder by Death (1976) and The Cheap Detective (1978), both from Neil Simon and The Man with Bogart's Face (1980).
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Sterling Hayden did not have to hit any camera marks in his scenes.
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The name of the private estate was "Malibu Colony".
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Robert Altman had originally wanted Dan Blocker for the Sterling Hayden role, but Blocker died shortly before production began.
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There were three dobermans used for the suicide scene. According to Nina Van Pallandt: "There was one that was fierce, one that was less fierce, and one that went into the water.
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The name that Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) told the police he was called was Sidney Jenkins.
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The film's DVD sleeve notes described this movie as being a "send-up of Raymond Chandler's classic detective story".
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Rutanya Alda played a character, Rutanya Sweet, who had the same first name as her own.
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The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
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Elliott Gould's character interacts with a person who cites and quotes from movies just as Gould's character would later also do in Capricorn One (1977).
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Trade paper 'The Hollywood Reporter' described the film as being "a gloriously inspired tribute to Hollywood".
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The character Jo Ann Eggenweiler (girl with busted nose) has same last name as associate producer Robert Eggenweiler.
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In adapting Raymond Chandler's book, Leigh Brackett had problems with its plot, which she felt was "riddled with cliches", and faced the choice of making it a period piece or updating it.
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The opening scene with Philip Marlowe and his cat came from a story a friend of Robert Altman's told him about his cat only eating one type of cat food. Altman saw it as a comment on friendship.
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Cameo 

David Carradine: Uncredited, a bearded Carradine as Dave aka Socrates.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

In Leigh Brackett's original ending for the screenplay adaptation, Roger shoots himself; whereas, in Raymond Chandler's original, Eileen shoots him.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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