Rent The Long Goodbye (1973)

3.7 of 5 from 214 ratings
1h 48min
Rent The Long Goodbye Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
When private eye Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) is visited by an old friend, this sets in train a series of events in which he's hired to search for a missing novelist (Sterling Hayden) and finds himself on the wrong side of vicious gangsters.
Actors:
, , , , , , , , Jo Ann Brody, , , , , , , , , , ,
Directors:
Producers:
Jerry Bick
Writers:
Leigh Brackett, Raymond Chandler
Studio:
MGM
Genres:
Classics, Drama, Thrillers
Collections:
10 Films to Watch if You Like: Halloween, Action & Adventure, Award Winners, Films to Watch If You Like..., The Biggest Oscar Snubs: Part 1, The Instant Expert's Guide, The Instant Expert's Guide to: Robert Altman, Top Film and TV Detectives: Guide to Screen Sleuth
BBFC:
Release Date:
02/02/2004
Run Time:
108 minutes
Languages:
English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, French Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, German Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
Subtitles:
Danish, Dutch, English Hard of Hearing, Finnish, French, German Hard of Hearing, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Original theatrical trailer
BBFC:
Release Date:
16/12/2013
Run Time:
112 minutes
Languages:
English LPCM Mono
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Isolated Music and Effects Soundtrack
  • Rip Van Marlowe: an interview with director Robert Altman and star Elliott Gould
  • Vilmos Zsigmond Flashes The Long Goodbye: an interview with the legendary cinematographer
  • Giggle and Give In: Paul Joyce's acclaimed documentary profile of Robert Altman, with contributions from Altman, Gould, Shelley Duvall, assistant director Alan Rudolph and screenwriter Joan Tewkesbury
  • Elliott Gould Q&A: the star discusses the film with crime novelist Michael Connelly
  • David Thompson on Robert Altman: the editor of Altman on Altman and producer of the BBC's Robert Altman in EnglandtsAks about 7776 Long Goodbye's place in Altman's filmography
  • Tom Williams on Raymond Chandler: the novelist's biographer outlines his life and work and discusses Altman's adaptation of The Long Goodbye
  • Maxim Jakubowski on Hard Boiled Fiction: the crime writer and critic discusses the emergence of hard boiled detective characters from the pages of the pulp magazines from the 1920s through to the 1950s
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Radio Spots

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Reviews (3) of The Long Goodbye

The Strange Case Of The Clueless Gumshoe - The Long Goodbye review by Count Otto Black

Spoiler Alert
18/07/2017

In many ways this is an excellent movie. The supporting cast are excellent, notably Sterling Hayden as a totally out of control alcoholic writer obviously based on Ernest Hemingway. The screenplay, which was, amazingly, written by the lady who co-wrote "The Big Sleep" starring Humphrey Bogart in 1946, removes some unlikely and unnecessary subplots and provides a far better ending than the one in the book. Robert Altman shows his usual mastery of cinema. Even the running gag about all the music in the film being different arrangements of the title song works splendidly. This should be the ultimate Raymond Chandler film.

The problem is Elliot Gould. It's not that he gives a bad performance. It's just that if you're familiar with Philip Marlowe, the character he's supposed to be playing, which most viewers will be, the hero of this movies comes across as a grotesque parody. I strongly suspect the Coen brothers were inspired by this film to make "The Big Lebowski", in which Chandler homages and tropes pop up constantly, but the central character isn't supposed to be Philip Marlowe; he's just a dim-witted easy-going slob who somehow gets dragged into a Chandleresque situation.

Gould's Marlowe is Jeff Lebowski's slightly smarter older brother. At times his apparent stupidity is revealed to be an act when he does something unexpectedly clever, but these moments occur far too seldom. Mostly he seems genuinely thick and a little unbalanced, constantly mumbling repetitive nonsense even when he's alone, especially his mantra "it's all right with me", which seems to apply to every situation in which nothing bad is happening to him right now. And although he does display occasional flashes of intelligence, much of what happens doesn't require him to do anything at all, especially the convoluted subplot involving a completely psychotic gangster, in which the actions of third parties cause Marlowe to passively drift into and then out of extreme danger while he stands there looking and sounding stupid.

This film would work far better if, like "The Big Lebowski", Gould's character wasn't supposed to be Philip Marlowe, but a completely unconnected person trying to do Marlowe's job without having the slightest aptitude for it. If you've never read any of Raymond Chandler's books or seen any of the other screen versions of them, you'll have no problems with the peculiar characterisation of the hero. But if you know what this extremely famous fictional private eye is supposed to be like, it'll be the equivalent of a movie in which Sherlock Holmes is portrayed as a borderline moron with autism and played by Billy Bob Thornton. Which is a pity, because it's an excellent movie thrown out of kilter by its inexplicably bizarre treatment of a character almost all of its target audience would have expected to be portrayed completely differently. Oh, and in case you're interested, Arnold Schwarzenegger has a walk-on part and takes his shirt off.

2 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

Neo-noir Oddball. - The Long Goodbye review by Steve

Spoiler Alert
08/10/2022

Idiosyncratic update of Raymond Chandler's best novel met with critical contempt for apparently mocking his legendary PI Philip Marlowe. Robert Altman called him Rip Van Marlowe because he imagined him going to sleep in the 1950s, and waking up in a seventies LA of hippies, goofball gangsters and Ronald Reagan as the governor of California. His identity as a knight in dirty armour is more out of place than ever.

Chandler's satirical trick was to portray his hero as a man of integrity who gets into so much trouble because his environment is so corrupt. In Altman's contemporary parlance, that makes Marlowe a 'loser'. He has no wife, and he has a crappy car/apartment. He is adopted by a cat which the PI goes to extraordinary lengths to satisfy, much like his relationship with his clients.

Altman doesn't even attempt to be faithful Chandler's complicated narrative; the first 12 minutes of the film are about Marlowe buying his cat its favourite food. In the book, Marlowe doesn't have a cat! And yet, there is still a lot of Chandler in the film and any lover of the great crime writer should find this adaptation at least interesting because Altman has obviously thought about him very deeply, even if unconventionally. And about film noir too.

Elliott Gould's Marlowe is likely to remain unique as he is so much of its time. I think this is the best screen portrayal because it has a depth. Humphrey Bogart and and Dick Powell were wisecracking cyphers, however enjoyable. There's a rich nocturnal atmosphere, with a late night lounge jazz soundtrack. There's even a first person narrative typical of classic noir as Gould constantly mumbles to himself! It's eccentric, but the best neo-noir of the decade.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Gould is Outstanding - The Long Goodbye review by KJ

Spoiler Alert
05/10/2016

Eliot Gould makes this film: Excellent performance as Marlow. Story can get a bit confusing but the star is Gould who makes watching this fine film very entertaining and enjoyable. Also watch out for a brief appearance of Big Arnold Schwarzenegger as one of the thugs!!! Highly reccommended.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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