Rent The Long Goodbye (1973)

3.8 of 5 from 155 ratings
1h 48min
Rent The Long Goodbye Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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  • Available formats
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.
, , , , , , , , Jo Ann Brody, , , , , , , , , , ,
Jerry Bick
Leigh Brackett, Raymond Chandler
Classics, Drama, Thrillers
Release Date:
Run Time:
108 minutes
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Danish, Dutch, English Hard of Hearing, Finnish, French, German Hard of Hearing, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
  • Original theatrical trailer
Release Date:
Run Time:
112 minutes
English Hard of Hearing
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
BLU-RAY Regions:
  • 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 (2) of The Long Goodbye

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

Spoiler Alert

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.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Gould is Outstanding - The Long Goodbye review by KJ

Spoiler Alert

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.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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