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Encyclopedia > The Long Goodbye (film)
The Long Goodbye

The Long Goodbye movie poster
Directed by Robert Altman
Produced by Jerry Bick
Written by Raymond Chandler (novel)
Leigh Brackett
Starring Elliott Gould
Nina Van Pallandt
Music by John Williams
Cinematography Vilmos Zsigmond
Editing by Lou Lombardo
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) March 7, 1973 in film
(U.S. release)
Running time 112 min.
Country US
Language English
Budget $1,700,000
IMDb profile

The Long Goodbye is a 1973 film adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel The Long Goodbye. Directed by Robert Altman from a screenplay by Leigh Brackett, the film stars Elliott Gould as Philip Marlowe, film noir veteran Sterling Hayden as Roger Wade and director Mark Rydell as the gangster Marty Augustine. "The Long Goodbye" holds up a mirror to the culture of the Hollywood lifestyle in the 1970s. The film is "a study of a moral and decent man cast adrift in a selfish, self-obsessed society where lives can be thrown away without a backward glance...and any notions of friendship and loyalty are meaningless" (Daniel O'Brien, "Robert Altman: Hollywood Survivor"). The Long Goodbye This is a copyrighted poster. ... Robert Bernard Altman (February 20, 1925 – November 20, 2006) was an American film director known for making films that are highly naturalistic, but with a stylized perspective. ... Raymond Chandler Raymond Thornton Chandler (July 23, 1888 – March 26, 1959) was an author of crime stories and novels. ... Leigh Brackett (December 7, 1915 - March 18, 1978), was a writer of fantasy and science fiction, mystery novels and - best known to the general public - Hollywood screenplays, most notably The Big Sleep (1945), Rio Bravo (1959), The Long Goodbye (1973) and The Empire Strikes Back (1980). ... Elliot Gould on the cover page of TIME magazine. ... Baroness Nina Van Pallandt (born 1932) is a Danish singer and actress. ... John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer and conductor. ... Vilmos Zsigmond (born June 16, 1930) is a Hungarian-American cinematographer. ... The current United Artists logo (a variant was used during the 1980s). ... March 7 is the 66th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (67th in leap years). ... // Events The Marx Brothers Zeppo Marx divorces his second wife, Barbara Blakely. ... Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... // Events The Marx Brothers Zeppo Marx divorces his second wife, Barbara Blakely. ... Raymond Chandler Raymond Thornton Chandler (July 23, 1888 – March 26, 1959) was an author of crime stories and novels. ... The Long Goodbye (ISBN 0394757688) is a 1954 novel by Raymond Chandler, centered on his famous detective Philip Marlowe. ... Robert Bernard Altman (February 20, 1925 – November 20, 2006) was an American film director known for making films that are highly naturalistic, but with a stylized perspective. ... Leigh Brackett (December 7, 1915 - March 18, 1978), was a writer of fantasy and science fiction, mystery novels and - best known to the general public - Hollywood screenplays, most notably The Big Sleep (1945), Rio Bravo (1959), The Long Goodbye (1973) and The Empire Strikes Back (1980). ... Elliot Gould on the cover page of TIME magazine. ... Ed Bishop had the title role in BBC Radios The Adventures of Philip Marlowe. ... This still from The Big Combo (1955) demonstrates the visual style of film noir at its most extreme. ... Sterling Hayden (March 26, 1916 - May 23, 1986) was an American actor. ... Mark Rydell (born March 23, 1934 in New York City) is an American actor, film director and producer. ...


Leigh Brackett was also one of the screenwriters on the 1946 film The Big Sleep, also based on a Chandler novel. Leigh Brackett (December 7, 1915 - March 18, 1978), was a writer of fantasy and science fiction, mystery novels and - best known to the general public - Hollywood screenplays, most notably The Big Sleep (1945), Rio Bravo (1959), The Long Goodbye (1973) and The Empire Strikes Back (1980). ... The Big Sleep (1946) is the first film version of Raymond Chandlers 1939 novel of the same name. ...


Unlike the novel, which is set in the 1950's, the film is set in the 1970's.

Contents

Synopsis

While trying in vain to feed his cat late one night, private investigator Philip Marlowe (Gould) receives a visit from his friend, Terry Lennox (Bouton). Lennox asks Marlowe to drive him to Tijuana, Mexico. When he returns home, the police are waiting for him and claim that Lennox brutally murdered his wife. Marlowe does not believe that his good friend is a murderer and refuses to tell the police anything. After three days in jail, he's released when the police inform him that Lennox committed suicide in Mexico. It's an open and shut case but something doesn't quite sit right with Marlowe. Geography Tijuana is a city in northwestern Mexico. ...


He is subsequently hired by the wealthy Eileen Wade (Pallandt) to find her alcoholic husband, Roger Wade (Hayden), a famous author with a Hemingway complex. Marlowe learns that the Wades knew the Lennoxes and that there is more to Terry's suicide and his wife's murder than initially reported. Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist. ...


Production

Producers Jerry Bick and Elliott Kastner had acquired the rights to the novel and made a deal with United Artists. They commissioned Leigh Brackett to write the screenplay and approached Howard Hawks and Peter Bogdanovich to direct.[1] Both filmmakers turned the producers down but Bogdanovich recommended Altman who, initially, wasn't interested until they let him cast Elliott Gould to play Marlowe. Originally, the producers had wanted either Robert Mitchum or Lee Marvin to play Marlowe. At the time, the actor had fallen out of favor after several unsuccessful films, including A Glimpse of Tiger where he had bickered with co-star Kim Darby, exchanged blows with director Anthony Harvey and displayed erratic behaviour.[2] He hadn't worked for two years as a result. However, Altman had faith in Gould and convinced Bick that he was perfect for the role. The studio not only made Gould do the requisite physical before approving his contract but they also demanded he undergo a psychological examination to prove that he was stable enough to make the movie. Howard Hawks (May 30, 1896 – December 26, 1977) was an American film director, producer and writer of the classic Hollywood era. ... Peter Bogdanovich Peter Bogdanovich (born July 30, 1939) is an American film director and writer, born in Kingston, New York. ... Robert Mitchum in Cape Fear Robert Charles Durman Mitchum (August 6, 1917 – July 1, 1997) was an American film actor and singer. ... Lee Marvin (born on February 19, 1924 – August 29, 1987) was an Academy Award-winning American film actor. ... Kim Darby (born Deborah Zerby on July 8, 1947 in Los Angeles, California) is an American actor who has starred in many films and appeared on many TV shows. ... Anthony Harvey (born June 3, 1931) is a British film editor and director. ...


Altman based his research for the film's screenplay not on the novel but on Raymond Chandler Speaking, a collection of letters. The director then had everyone who worked on the production read them as well. In an article entitled, "Robert Altman: American Innovator," he said of the collection of letters, "But he [Chandler] used this thread to hang about sixty thumbnail essays on, so the real interest in Raymond Chandler, to me, were those essays. We tightened the plot up; I dropped half the characters, probably; then I used that line to hang a bunch of film essays on." The most significant change that he and Brackett made was with the ending. She remembered, "The original ending, the one in the novel, was pretty inconclusive and didn't please any of us, so we thought we'd go for broke and see what happened."


Reaction

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
the re-release poster by Jack Davis
the re-release poster by Jack Davis

Initial reviews for the film were mixed and the box-office returns were poor, on account of the unconventional changes from the novel. Sight and Sound and The Film Quarterly attacked the depiction of Marlowe stating that "one can not satirize or destroy a hero image until one defines it" (Gerald Plecki, "Robert Altman"). Some critics objected to a 1970's Marlowe characterized differently by an ending changed from the book. 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. The act of cold violence and Gould's sloppy, boyish Marlowe was a clear attempt to distance the movie from Bogart's The Big Sleep. Other reviewers compared the film favorably to other Altman films. A New York Times review of the film, by critic Vincent Canby in 1973, noted "Don't be misled by the ads, The Long Goodbye is not a put-on. It's great fun and it's funny, but it's a serious, unique work." [1] Image File history File links Size of this preview: 396 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (499 × 755 pixel, file size: 109 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) MGM, 1973 This image is of a film poster, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher of... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 396 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (499 × 755 pixel, file size: 109 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) MGM, 1973 This image is of a film poster, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher of... The Big Sleep (1946) is the first film version of Raymond Chandlers 1939 novel of the same name. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... Vincent Canby (July 27, 1924 – September 15, 2000) was an American film critic. ...


After early critical reaction to the film was so bad, United Artists pulled it from distribution, analyzing the scathing reviews for six months. They came to the conclusion that the ad campaign had been misleading. The studio had promoted Altman's film as a detective story with an emphasis on the names "Raymond Chandler" and "Philip Marlowe." The director decided that a new ad campaign "had to prepare audiences for a movie that satirizes Hollywood and the entire Chandler genre. So I went to Mad magazine and asked Jack Davis, the artist, to come up with a cartoon approach."[3] United Artists spent $40,000 on a new campaign for the film's New York City premiere (where it did quite well) and for the rest of the country (where it continued to do poorly). The New York Times put Altman's film on their Ten Best List of the year and Vilmos Zsigmond won the National Society of Film Critics' award as Best Cinematographer. Mad is an American humor magazine founded by editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gaines in 1952. ... A 1956 Jack Davis page for ECs Picto-Fiction Jack Davis (born December 2, 1924) is an American cartoonist and illustrator. ... The National Society of Film Critics or NSFC is an American film critic organization. ...


With time The Long Goodbye was more widely accepted, regarded by one critic as "the Altman master work" (Gerald Plecki, "Robert Altman"). It currently boasts a 94% fresh consensus on Rotten Tomatoes


Trivia

  • The film was analyzed by film critic Roger Ebert at the 2006 Conference on World Affairs in Boulder, Colorado, the source of some of this analysis.
  • The actual plot deviates drastically from Raymond Chandler's novel Long Goodbye. Leigh Brackett took a few liberties when adapting the book into a screenplay. Marlowe killing his best friend Terry Lennox and the end of the film was a major departure from the book. The role of Sylvia Lennox's rich father was eliminated from the storyline for the film. Roger Wade's suicide was originally a murder in the novel. Marty Augustine is not in the novel, and his role and subplots were added specifically for the film.
  • Nina Van Pallandt plays Eileen Wade; she became famous as the mistress of hoaxer Clifford Irving, who was jailed when his biography of Howard Hughes was exposed as a fraud. This was her first English-language film.
  • The film pokes fun at Hollywood stereotypes, opening and closing with a 1950s-sounding version of Hooray for Hollywood — in the opening shot old art of the Hollywood Hills is shown, and the camera pans to Marlowe, now in the 1970s. And Marlowe ("Rip Van Marlowe"), a relic of the 1940s transplanted to the 1970s, is the only character to smoke in the film. Marlowe himself refers to the artifice when talking to the cops: "Is this where I'm supposed to say 'What's all this about?' and he says 'Shut up, I ask the questions'?"
  • The film is often washed out, with weak colors. Altman and his cinematographer, Vilmos Zsigmond, partially exposed the negatives. Many shots were through windows or (in at least one scene) a cage, often reflected in windows.
  • In one scene of the movie Marlowe says that he is going to "call Ronald Reagan", who was then governor of California - and future actor and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appears in a minor role during the following scene as one of Augustine's hoods, wearing a red shirt and tan pants.
  • There is a small reference to The Maltese Falcon in one scene; when Marlowe is talking to Eileen Wade a green Maltese Falcon is seen as a lampshade in the background. Another small reference is to Tokyo Story, seen in a reflection as a flash while Marlowe is going to the hospital in an ambulance — both are very quick, and easy to miss. There is also a reference to Altman's movie McCabe & Mrs. Miller near the end of the film, where the songbook Songs of Leonard Cohen is displayed in the background. Several of the songs printed in that book were featured in McCabe.
  • The final scene, down to the music, bears a strong resemblance to the final scene of The Third Man, as Terry Lennox's final speech to Marlowe bears a resemblance to Orson Welles famed cynical "cuckoo clock" ad-lib in The Third Man, pointed out by Roger Ebert at the 2006 Conference on World Affairs.
  • There is argument about what the title, "The Long Goodbye," refers to. It could be Terry Lennox, or it could be the entire hard-boiled detective genre of movies.
  • Originally Dan Blocker, who played the character of Hoss in Bonanza and was a close friend of Robert Altman was chosen to play the character of Roger Wade, but he died before filming began. The film is dedicated to Dan Blocker.
  • The soundtrack of the film consists of two songs, the aforementioned Hooray for Hollywood and a song titled The Long Goodbye, composed by John Williams. Each time the song is used it is played in a very different arrangement and instrumentation, from hippie chant to store muzak, making it at times almost unrecognizable.
  • Elliott Gould lights a cigarette in every single scene he appears in in the movie.

Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films. ... Roger Joseph Ebert (born June 18, 1942) is a Pulitzer Prize winning American film critic. ... The Conference on World Affairs takes place yearly in Boulder, Colorado, and was founded in 1948, originally as a forum on international affairs (according to their site). ... The City of Boulder ( , Mountain Time Zone) is a home rule municipality located in Boulder County, Colorado, United States. ... Raymond Chandler Raymond Thornton Chandler (July 23, 1888 – March 26, 1959) was an author of crime stories and novels. ... The Long Goodbye (ISBN 0394757688) is a 1954 novel by Raymond Chandler, centered on his famous detective Philip Marlowe. ... Baroness Nina Van Pallandt (born 1932) is a Danish singer and actress. ... Madame de Pompadour the mistress of King Louis XV of France. ... A hoax is an attempt to trick an audience into believing that something false is real. ... For the politician, see Clifford Irving (politician). ... For the Welsh murderer, see Howard Hughes (murderer). ... Hooray for Hollywood is a movie song first featured in the relatively obscure 1937 movie Hollywood Hotel and which has since became the staple soundtrack element of any Academy Awards ceremony. ... The Hollywood Hills, an unofficial designation of part of the City of Los Angeles, California, are part of the eastern section of the low transverse range of the Santa Monica Mountains, which extends from the Los Feliz District and Hollywood, on the south side of the Valley, to Pacific Coast... Vilmos Zsigmond (born June 16, 1930) is a Hungarian-American cinematographer. ... Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981 – 1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967 – 1975). ... Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (German pronunciation (IPA): ) (born on July 30, 1947) is an Austrian-American bodybuilder, actor and an American politician, currently serving as the 38th Governor of California. ... Actors Bogart, Lorre, Astor and Greenstreet in The Maltese Falcon (1941) The Maltese Falcon (1930) is a detective novel by Dashiell Hammett that has been adapted several times for the cinema. ... Tokyo Story ) is a 1953 Japanese dike cunt nigger bitch fag cunt whore cock sucker movie by Yasujiro Ozu, in which elderly parents from the southwestern seaside town of Onomichi visit their busy children in Tokyo — a journey which, before the introduction of the bullet train, took almost a day... McCabe & Mrs. ... 31 Songs (published in the United States as Songbook) is a 2003 collection of essays by English writer Nick Hornby about songs and (more often) the particular emotional resonance they carry for him. ... The Third Man (1949) is a British film noir directed by Carol Reed. ... George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an Academy Award-winning American screenwriter, a film and theatre director, a film producer and a actor in film, theatre and radio. ... Cynicism (Greek ) was originally the philosophy of a group of ancient Greeks called the Cynics, founded by Antisthenes. ... Cuckoo clock, a so-called Jagdstück, Black Forest, ca. ... Ad lib (and ad-lib) are terms derived from the Latin ad libitum, meaning at ones pleasure. Ad lib is the adjective or adverb; ad-lib is the verb or noun form. ... Roger Joseph Ebert (born June 18, 1942) is a Pulitzer Prize winning American film critic. ... The Conference on World Affairs takes place yearly in Boulder, Colorado, and was founded in 1948, originally as a forum on international affairs (according to their site). ... Hard-boiled detective is a type of character that appears in crime and mystery fiction, but occasionally in other genres as well. ... Dan Blocker (December 10, 1928 – May 13, 1972) was an American actor. ... The Bonanza logo was superimposed upon a map of a wild west frontier area. ... Robert Bernard Altman (February 20, 1925 – November 20, 2006) was an American film director known for making films that are highly naturalistic, but with a stylized perspective. ... John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer and conductor. ... Muzak Holdings LLC is a company, founded in 1934, that is best known for distribution of music to retail stores and other companies. ...

Featured cast

Actor Role
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 Terry Lennox

Elliot Gould on the cover page of TIME magazine. ... Ed Bishop had the title role in BBC Radios The Adventures of Philip Marlowe. ... Baroness Nina Van Pallandt (born 1932) is a Danish singer and actress. ... Sterling Hayden (March 26, 1916 - May 23, 1986) was an American actor. ... Mark Rydell (born March 23, 1934 in New York City) is an American actor, film director and producer. ... Henry Gibson (born September 21, 1935 in Germantown, Pennsylvania) is an American actor who was famous as a cast member of Rowan and Martins Laugh-In. ... David Arkin (b. ... Jim Bouton James Alan Bouton (born March 8, 1939 in Newark, New Jersey, USA) is a former Major League Baseball player, and author of the controversial baseball book Ball Four, which was a combination diary of his 1969 season and memoir of his years with the New York Yankees. ...

Quotes

  • "I tell you what we're gonna do, Marlboro. You're gonna take that goddamn J.C. Penney tie off and we're gonna have an old fashioned man to man drinking party." "Well, that's okay but I'm not taking off the tie." (Roger Wade and Marlowe)
  • "It's okay with me."(Marlowe's mantra, stated many times throughout the film)

This article is about the department store chain. ...

References

  1. ^ McGilligan, Patrick. "Robert Altman: Jumping Off the Cliff", St. Martin's Press, 1989, pp. 360.
  2. ^ McGilligan, Patrick. "Robert Altman: Jumping Off the Cliff", St. Martin's Press, 1989, pp. 360.
  3. ^ Gardner, Paul. "'Long Goodbye' Proves A Big Sleeper Here", The New York Times, November 8, 1973.

Headquartered in the legendary Flatiron Building in New York City, St. ... Headquartered in the legendary Flatiron Building in New York City, St. ... The New York Times is a daily newspaper published in New York City by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ...

External links


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