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The Long Goodbye

  R HD Closed Captioning

Robert Altman

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Plot Summary

Elliott Gould portrays tough private-eye Philip Marlowe in director Robert Altman's updated version of one of Raymond Chandler's most-celebrated novels... Marlowe is awakened at 3:30 in the morning by part-time hood Terry Lennox (Jim Bouton) to drive him to Tijuana. When Marlowe returns to Los Angeles, he learns that Lennox's wife is dead--murdered--and that (of course!) Lennox is the chief suspect. Marlowe returns to his normal work and is hired by a woman to find her husband, Roger (Sterling Hayden), an author with a fondness for the bottle. More puzzles... The mob turns up; they are seeking $350,000--and they seem to think Marlowe has it! He will soon learn of Lennox's death (murder, suicide or...) in Mexico and realize that no one but himself gives a damn. That will make Marlowe VERY angry...

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

96%
  • Reviews Counted: 28
  • Fresh: 27
  • Rotten: 1
  • Average Rating: 8.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: [Altman] attempts the impossible and pulls it off. – Vincent Canby, New York Times, Jul 16, 2008

Fresh: It tries to be all genre and no story, and it almost works. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: Simultaneously an act of revisionism as well as a parody of then-revitalizing neo-noir. – Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine, May 4, 2007

Fresh: Elliott Gould in the lead seems to relish the joke of serving up Marlowe in a radically different way. – Michael Thomson, BBC.com, Jul 14, 2006

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

For Altman fans, not Chandler fans

Robert Altman's take on Raymond Chandler's best novel is one his better films, but an atrocity for fans of detective noir. For a proper treatment of Philip Marlowe, watch The Big Sleep. And for Altman at his best, watch The Player. His style is too self-consciously quirky and winking to do justice to hard-boiled fiction.

Rip Van Marlowe

I found this take on Chandler's Marlowe character to be very enjoyable. Elliot Gould is wonderfully oblivious/nonchalant and pulls off some great improvisation. I also found the casting to be quite good, though I could have done without Arnold... Anyway, give it a go, and I don't think you'll be disappointed. Also check out California Split, another Gould movie from the same period, though it's not available on iTunes yet.

Masterpiece

Altman does a fantastic job of reconstruction the typical hard-boiled detective genre and classic film noir style. His take demythologizes everything that films like The Maltese Falcon strove to create.
If you don't understand this film watch it a second time. It truly is amazing. Just because you think it's slow doesn't make it bad; in fact, it plays up Marlowe's character and the storyline that Gould so masterfully portrays.
No need to criticize the 'literary'. If you dislike this, fine, it's not for everybody. But don't say it's bad because this is probably one of the best contemporary detective films of the 70's whether watching it for pleasure or for literary purposes.