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2,510 Ratings

The Long Goodbye

Directed by Robert Altman
United States, 1973
Crime, Drama, Thriller


In the middle of the night, private eye Philip Marlowe drives his friend Terry Lennox to the Mexican border. When Marlowe returns home police are waiting for him and learns that Terry’s wife Sylvia has been killed. He’s arrested as an accessory but released after a few days.

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The Long Goodbye Directed by Robert Altman
With 1973’s The Long Goodbye Robert Altman obviously achieves perfection. It’s as accidental and as circumstantial as the successful ignition of a match off any available surface.
August 11, 2019
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According to Altman, the core conceit — if the film has a center, it’s this Idea - is the transplanting of Marlowe, preeminent private dick of the original noir cycle, to sunny post‘68 southern California, up to his neck in nudist yogis and conspicuous consumption. It’s an amusing concept, but Gould mucks it up with a performance that’s less tragic hero and more muttering, Pynchonian weirdo.
June 25, 2017
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Altman may not offer up a period piece in the vein of THIEVES LIKE US, but he faithfully hews to the contours of Chandler’s novel. Casting Elliot Gould is a masterstroke, but he further displays his genius for casting by using Henry Gibson and Mark Rydell to manifest two complimentary shades of evil. There’s never been a more Chandlerian “old man” than Sterling Hayden. And you know what? The film’s ending is better.
April 25, 2014
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What are people saying?

  • El Biffo's rating of the film The Long Goodbye

    Robert Altman's greatest film. On my personal all-time top 10. See it on a big screen, if possible, to fully appreciate Vilmos Zsigmond's "flashing" technique. Listen for 22 renditions of the theme song by John Williams and Johnny Mercer. Arnold Schwarznegger refuses to discuss this film. After smashing a coke bottle in his girlfriends face, Marty Augustine tells Marlowe "That's someone I love. You I don't even like"

  • Nicholas Gregory's rating of the film The Long Goodbye

    The plot of the next year's Chinatown is traditional and unwavering, but The Long Goodbye has what makes that Polanski film dry and bland until its climax— energy. As despite a lack of focus with its murder investigation plot point, it pumps due to Gould: an intriguing, if antiquated, debonair— a man who would be a cool cat if he was born in the past. If Alain Delon is the birth of sex, Gould is the death of jazz.

  • Jason's rating of the film The Long Goodbye

    Timeless story of a man and his cat. The term "hardboiled" denotes a kind of thick-skinned philosophy. It extends beyond Chandler and co. Writers as disparate as Henry Miller and Jean Genet traffic in it. Elliott Gould is an especially blasé kind of hardboiled. Here we have a movie star as great as any who preceded him. His best before date appears to have arrived too soon, but in 1973 he and Altman were untouchable.

  • Ethan's rating of the film The Long Goodbye

    Altman's greatest achievement. Elliot Gould is by far the greatest Philip Marlowe and that's saying a lot since Bogart embodied the character too. The energy in this film is incredible. One day I hope to make a film with this kind of energy.

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film The Long Goodbye

    The "It's OK with me" line has that nice ironic touch. It's that same milieu as 'Chinatown', where everyone just doesn't give a damn. There's naked women over there on a porch. It's OK with me. I have a hard time with movies in California, because that whole laid back thing makes no goddamn sense. I've been to California and the place drove me nuts.

  • Scorpio Velvet's rating of the film The Long Goodbye

    Seeing Altman's '70s film noir classic was a pretty good experience, Elliot Gould played the best PI on the screen ever and contained some of Zsigmond's most antonishing camerawork I've ever seen since De Palma's BLOW OUT. I also felt about how the storyline had its twists & turns sometimes but all I focused was the mystery itself along with Gould, Zsigmond's camerawork, and the rest. A good film noir to watch, too.

  • ASHES IN THE HOURGLASS's rating of the film The Long Goodbye

    Am I the only one who couldn't stop seeing Spike Spiegel instead of Phillip Marlowe? The very laid-back and elegant way he walks, runs, smokes, jokes, talks, etc. all made this feel like the perfect Cowboy Bebop film. Altman's satirical touches return as he pokes fun of all the new-age bullshit that encompassed the early 70s. Even the whole pacing of the film makes the viewer feel high and out of touch with reality.

  • mjgildea's rating of the film The Long Goodbye

    As odd of a choice as Gould is to play Phillip Marlowe he's amazing in the role. The randomness and rambling/mumbling made the movie for me. Throw in some great direction and cinematography (and a blustering Sterling Hayden) and you've got a great noir and a low-key comedy. Not nuts over the ending but if it was done for the cat I'm all for it. Definitely see the influence on Inherent Vice.

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