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The Long Goodbye

By Marshall Fine

Raymond Chandler's cynically idealistic hero, Philip Marlowe, has been played by everyone from Humphrey Bogart to James Garner--but no one gives him the kind of weirdly affect-less spin that Elliott Gould does in this terrific Robert Altman reimagining of Chandler's penultimate novel. Altman recasts Marlowe as an early Super70s L.A. habitué, who gets involved in a couple of cases at once. The most interesting involves a suicidal writer (Sterling Hayden in a larger-than-life performance) whom Marlowe is supposed to keep away from malevolent New-Ageish guru Henry Gibson. A variety of wonderfully odd characters pop up, played by everyone from model Nina Van Pallandt to director Mark Rydell to ex-baseballer Jim Bouton. And yes, that is Arnold Schwarzenegger (in only his second movie) popping up as (what else?) a muscleman. Listen for the title song: It shows up in the strangest places.

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Robert Altman

Stars: Elliott Gould, Nina Van Pallandt, Sterling Hayden

Released: March 7, 1973

Availability: DVD VHS


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