Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

14 January 2008

The Long Goodbye, dir. Robert Altman (1973)

STEVE says:
I know I'm alone on this, but I think Elliot Gould is my favorite Marlowe. He may not be the best incarnation of the literary Marlowe (in my opinion, it's Dick Powell in Murder, My Sweet), but that doesn't bother me so much, as The Long Goodbye is an update of the story, set in 1973 instead of the novel's 50s.

Marlowe, too, is an update of the smart-aleck PI made legendary by Bogart in The Big Sleep. Mumbling, bemused, talking to himself a great deal of the time, he's still as out-of-place as he's ever been, no matter who plays him.

And it's a Robert Altman film, so you've got to expect something different. It's not a straight adaptation of the book - half the characters have been dropped, a gangster added, a murder changed to a suicide and the ending completely changed - but it works.

The Long Goodbye is not a classic film noir, it's a take-off on films of that type, a satire of Hollywood and its stereotypes. I happen to love that sort of thing. For everybody else, I guess there's always vanilla.


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