Movie Seventy Four
The Long Goodbye is an interesting film that would be easily to call a detective noir, but it doesn’t easily fall into any single category. It’s because of this that the movie is worth watching.
The main character, Philip Marlowe, is played masterfully by Elliott Gould and he is exactly what you would expect from Gould. He’s a wisecracking, chain-smoking, smooth talking guy that gets roped into this mystery. He is awakened by his hungry cat and after getting back from the store, his old friend, Terry Lennox, comes to Marlowe with the request to drive him to Tijuana. Upon returning to his apartment, Marlowe is greeted by two cops who arrest him for abetting Lennox, who is wanted for the murder of his wife.
Director, Robert Altman, really blows away every notion of noir for The Long Goodbye. The original novel was written by the legendary Raymond Chandler, who also wrote such stories as Double Indemnity, and the screenwriter, Leigh Brackett, is probably most well known for penning The Empire Strikes Back. A dream team like that is really something special, but The Long Goodbye seems criminally overlooked. I hadn’t heard of it until recommended by my friend, Julian (thanks, Julian).
One awesome thing about The Long Goodbye is that the camera never stops moving. Every single shot pans or zooms and it gives the film a sense of urgency that perfectly complements the laid back demeanor of Marlowe. I would heartily recommend The Long Goodbye, since it is an unusual film and is readily available on Netflix Instant Watch. After watching it, I have ruminated about the plot and could easily watch the film again to better understand everything.
I give it 4 “no Courry’s brand cat food?” out of 5.