7.7/10
21,317
161 user 135 critic

The Long Goodbye (1973)

Private investigator Philip Marlowe helps a friend out of a jam then gets implicated in his wife's murder.

Director:

Robert Altman

Writers:

Leigh Brackett (screenplay), Raymond Chandler (novel)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elliott Gould ... Philip Marlowe
Nina van Pallandt ... Eileen Wade
Sterling Hayden ... Roger Wade
Mark Rydell ... Marty Augustine
Henry Gibson ... Dr. Verringer
David Arkin ... Harry
Jim Bouton Jim Bouton ... Terry Lennox
Warren Berlinger ... Morgan
Jo Ann Brody Jo Ann Brody ... Jo Ann Eggenweiler
Stephen Coit ... Detective Farmer (as Steve Coit)
Jack Knight ... Mabel
Pepe Callahan Pepe Callahan ... Pepe
Vincent Palmieri Vincent Palmieri ... Vince (as Vince Palmieri)
Pancho Córdova 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:

"I have two friends in the world. One is a cat. The other is a murderer." - Elliot Gould as Phillip Marlowe See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 May 1973 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

The Long Goodbye See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,700,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$959,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. See more »

Goofs

When Marlowe buys a newspaper from a vending machine, the headline on the front page reads "Jet hijacked". Moments later, when reading the same paper in the car, the headline has switched to "Rain of jet parts". In fact, these are two separate newspapers; Marlowe picks the second up in the car. See more »

Quotes

Philip Marlowe: [Riley is playing Williams and Mercer's "The Long Goodbye" on the piano] You practicing for the Hit Parade?
Riley: Gotta learn this goddamn thing... he thinks it'll beef up the lunch trade.
Philip Marlowe: [surveying the empty bar] Yeah, I don't see anybody waitin' on line.
Riley: As cheap as I work, he cannot lose.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gossip Girl: The Wrong Goodbye (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Long Goodbye
by John Williams and Johnny Mercer
Performed by The Dave Grusin Trio, Jack Sheldon, Clydie King, Jack Riley, Morgan Ames, Aluminum Band, The Tepoztlan Municipal Band
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User Reviews

 
A terrible disappointment
31 January 2010 | by battuta-649-929124See all my reviews

I really don't understand why this film gets such high ratings. It doesn't work either as an adaptation of a Chandler novel or on its own merits.

I'm a big Chandler fan. I understand that adapting a book to film means making concessions, but I don't think there is a single line of dialogue from the book in this film. If you like Chandler then you know it's his dialog that makes him such an outstanding writer and more than just a pulp-fiction hack.

I can also understand changing the plot, but this movie removes so much of the original and changes not only the storyline, but the characters and motivations that it becomes incoherent. I mean why make Mexican gangsters in the book into Jewish ones in the film? It takes away from the reasoning of Lennox's flight to Mexico. There is never any real understanding of why or how Lennox and Marlowe met or became friends. There are a whole group of characters left out which gave meaning to story. Without any understanding of the characters, the plot doesn't make sense, and the changes take away from the understanding and make the motivations weak.

Although the story was "updated" to the 1970's, the look and feel is more of an early 1960's film. It wasn't avant-garde, but already outdated when it came out.

Some people like the soundtrack, but I find the one song, in it's numerous variations very insipid. Hearing each version over and over again only point out how awful a song it is. It comes off as a cheap trick.

So even on its own terms this movie is very weak and frustrating and as Chandler film it will make aficionados cringe.


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