"The Long Goodbye" Is Released

The Long Goodbye (1973), directed by Robert Altman, is a contemporary film noir adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s elegiac novel The Long Goodbye (1953), the screenplay is by Leigh Brackett, who adapted The Big Sleep for the 1946 film.

The Long Goodbye features Elliott Gould as Philip Marlowe, private eye, Sterling Hayden as alcoholic novelist Roger Wade, and Mark Rydell as gangster Marty Augustine.

Unlike the novel, occurring in the 1950s, the cinematic version of The Long Goodbye occurs in the 1970s — a mirror of the lifestyle and culture of Hollywood in the 1970s. In their genres, the novel and the film are "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".

"It's OK with me...." Applying his deconstructive eye to the "film noir" tradition, Robert Altman updated Raymond Chandler in his 1973 version of Chandler's novel, The Long Goodbye. Smart-aleck, cat-loving private eye Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) is certain that his friend Terry Lennox (Jim Bouton) isn't a wife-killer, even after the cops throw Marlowe in jail for not cooperating with their investigation into Lennox's subsequent disappearance. Once he gets out of jail, Marlowe starts to conduct his own search when he discovers that mysterious blonde Eileen Wade (Nina Van Pallandt), who hired him to find her alcoholic novelist husband Roger (Sterling Hayden), lives on the same Malibu street as the absent Lennox and his deceased spouse. As numerous variations on the title song play in unexpected places, Marlowe encounters a shady doctor (Henry Gibson), a bottle-wielding gangster (director Mark Rydell), and a guard aping Barbara Stanwyck (among other stars), before heading to Mexico to stumble onto the truth once and for all. ~ Lucia Bozzola, All Movie Guide