RE: RARA-AVIS: The Litle Sister and Hollywood

Etienne Borgers (
Mon, 12 Apr 1999 23:37:12 -0700 (PDT) Chandler did more than Double Indemnity (his first
script- co/ with B Wilder) and he never made a secret
of his despising for most of the Hollywood fauna (
those on the creative side: writers, directors,
Strangers on a Train benefited also of his
participation, and his words for Hitchcock are tough.

But nobody can anticipate what Chandler's reaction
should have been AT THE TIME OF THE FILM (1973)for
what concerns Altman brilliant adaptation of the
novel, based on a totally rewritten story by
L.Brackett ( who was IMO one of the most inventive
script writers- She bettered "adventure" movies and
even participated to an episode of Star War).

The Long Goodbye is an important film for the
evolution of Noir/HB on screen. And the end added by
Brackett, IMO add power to the plot.
I followed the same itinerary as Mark Sullivan. First
time a little bit disappointed, but the film was
working on me.
The cinematography of Altman is first class and Gould
is a plausible modern Marlowe.
Each time I viewed it after that, I still discovered
more about its invention and richness.
I believe the Chandler universe is present in that

I personally think that on the opposite, the "retro"
style of movies for modern Noir is a dead end: too
much glitter and less substance, good pastiches at
One film that worked the way round than Altman's for
me was "Chinatown" by Polansky (1974)
I was impressed at first, and deceived later on at
each new vision of this film. Too artificial... I
think the best will remain the performance of the
central actor:
Jack Nicholson. It is a good film, but it is not top
Noir. Polansky tried to trick us...
There are other examples.

There is no justification to make "period" Noir films
just to have a better proof of their right
appurtenance to the genre( or just to be able to
mimic the icons of the Noir cinema of the 40's and

If we want that the genre survives it has to find his
characters, problems, plots and evils in our today

OK, warm up the petrol... I stop here.

Hard-Boiled Mysteries

---Jerry Buck <> wrote:
> Chandler did well as a screenwriter. His
adaptation of James M. Cain's
> is a landmark film. Too bad he didn't live long
enough to plug Robert Altman
> and Elliott Gould for butchering THE LONG GOODBYE.
> Jerry Buck

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