The Long Goodbye (1973) review

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by thing, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. thing

    thing Well-Known Member

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    The Long Goodbye (1973)

    Directed by Robert Altman​


    8/10​


    Elliot Gould plays Philip Marlowe who is one of the coolest, low key, self-muttering Private Detectives ever committed to screen. He tries to help a friend who is accused of murdering his wife and the narrative splinters off into some real interesting and entertaining directions. I found this film pretty engaging and will give it one more viewing before I decide whether it will slip into the back end of my top 100 or not, but it has a good shot based on this single viewing. I am not usually a fan of Altman but this film feels a lot more focussed than his usual fare, although it still has his trademark overlapping dialogue.​
     
  2. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    I do love this film. I'm a huge fan of Raymond Chandler, so, I will admit that it took me a while to warm up to this one. For a lot of Chandler fans, there is, on the surface, so much sacrilege in the way this one was done. All the wit of Chandler's prose and dialogue is completely lost. But, once I gave in to the films own unique little vibe, I really grew to dig it. Just the idea of Gould muttering all the time, (which really annoyed me the first time I saw it until I came to recognize it as a cool updating of the VO narration so cliche in film noir) was really quite brilliant. And the way the main theme keeps popping up as incidental music, like in the grocery, is really clever.

    And, I will say that the end of this film is an improvement on the end of the original book.

    In the end, though, a terrible adaption, but a great film.
     
  3. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    I have it on DVD.Altman cleverly does the opposite of what you would normally expect in the "hardboiled" genre and comes up with a very unique film indeed.Only in the 70's could a guy like Gould become a major star,certainly not the picture of the "leading man" that we have today.It was less about image then.
     
  4. thing

    thing Well-Known Member

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    Ive never read the book but as a great film I would not use the words terrible adaptation but more rather a not very loyal adaptation. Altman certainly adapted the source material into a different medium well enough and into an altman film. But i can certainly understand fans of the book being riled by it... I probably would be aswell.
     
  5. Workshed

    Workshed a.k.a. Villyan Shit

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    Interesting notes on the adaptation. As a fan of Chandler's Marlowe novels, I admit I have not yet seen many of the film versions. Will give this a shot.
     

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