Long Goodbye, The (1973)

Nothing says goodbye like a bullet.

Original Title : Long Goodbye, The
Director : Robert Altman
Writer : Raymond Chandler
Leigh Brackett
Genre : Crime
Country : USA
Language : English
Producer : Jerry Bick , Robert Eggenweiler , Elliott Kastner
Music : John Williams
Photography : Vilmos Zsigmond
IMDB ID : 0070334
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poster for "Long Goodbye, The" by Robert Altman (1973)
Long Goodbye, The (1973) - Robert Altman


Elliott Gould Philip Marlowe
Nina Van Pallandt Eileen Wade (as Nina van Pallandt
Sterling Hayden Roger Wade
Mark Rydell Marty Augustine
Henry Gibson Dr. Verringer
David Arkin Harry
Jim Bouton Terry Lennox
Warren Berlinger Morgan
Jo Ann Brody Jo Ann Eggenweiler
Stephen Coit Det. Farmer (as Steve Coit
Jack Knight Mabel
Pepe Callahan Pepe
Vincent Palmieri Vince
Pancho Córdova Doctor (as Pancho Cordoba
Enrique Lucero Jefe
Rutanya Alda Rutanya Sweet
Tammy Shaw Dancer
Jack Riley Riley
Ken Sansom Colony guard
Jerry Jones Det. Green
John Davies Det. Dayton
Rodney Moss Supermarket clerk
Sybil Scotford Real estate lady
Herb Kerns Herbie rest of cast listed alphabetically
David Carradine Inmate (uncredited
Danny Goldman Bartender (uncredited
Tracy Harris Detective (uncredited
Ned Humphreys Store Clerk (uncredited
Leslie McRae Lucille (uncredited
Arnold Schwarzenegger One of Augustine's hoods (uncredited
Leslie Simms Olive (uncredited
George Wyner Cop at Beach (uncredited


Chain-smoking, wisecracking private eye Philip Marlowe drives a buddy from LA to the Tijuana border and returns home to an apartment full of cops who arrest him for abetting the murder of his friend's wife. After Marlowe's release, following the reported suicide in Mexico of his friend, a beautiful woman hires him to locate her alcoholic and mercurial husband. Then, a hoodlum and his muscle visit to tell Marlowe that he owes $350,000, mob money the dead friend took to Mexico. Marlowe tails the hood, who goes to the house of the woman with the temperamental husband. As Marlowe pulls these threads together, his values emerge from beneath the cavalier wisecracking.


Very good but not great film. I'm a big admirer of Robert Altman's movies. Unlike other by-the-book directors, the maverick Altman will break barriers and change the way we watch cinema. The Long Goodbye was one of the movies that Siskel and Ebert talked about on a special edition of their show, where they talked about their favorite films of the last Golden Age for Hollywood (1970-74). While it's good and compelling, it's a bit slow at times. I'm not a Raymond Chandler fan, so it was a little harder for me to judge. Elliot Gould plays the chain-smoking, cussing P.I. Phillip Marlowe superbly. Gould does a good job of masking his usual voice to sound different. A friend of Marlowe's, played by ex-baseball pitcher Jim Bouton, requests to be driven to Tijuana. He does so, then the next day, Marlowe is arrested for accessory to murder. Bouton's character's wife has been murdered. After he is released, he finds out that Bouton has committed suicide. Marlowe decides to solve this case, and it then leads him into a hard-boiled story of marital affairs, alcoholism, and loan sharks. Still, the movie, despite a bit of tedium here and there, is very good. Gould's terrific performance, as well as Sterling Hayden's role as a drunken author who's behavior has been questionable of late, are standouts. The whole cast is uniformly good. The violence is a bit nasty, Mark Rydell's Sonny Augustine, a Jewish mobster who is also looking for Marlowe's friend because of money, hits his fiance in the face with a bottle to express his anger. It's groundbreaking because of how the characters have been updated from the 1940's to the 70's, as well as the content. It's a bit dated today, but it's still a good film. A lot better than what we're seeing now.
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