RARA-AVIS: Altman's film; Meeker

From: Juri Nummelin ( jurnum@utu.fi)
Date: 20 Aug 2001

On Thu, 16 Aug 2001, Mark Sullivan wrote:

> The first time I saw Altman's Long Goodbye, I was outraged. When I saw
> it again years later, I went in with the attitude, Okay, go in with no
> preconceptions, just take it for what it is. I now think it's a great
> movie. But Chandler's Marlowe? Nunh-uh!

Nobody said it was to be Chandler's Marlowe. Chandler wrote in the thirties, fourties and fifties. The film is typically the seventies' stuff. Chandler wouldn't have come up with the same Marlowe he came up in the thirties. I don't know whether the film will stand the test of time, but I certainly have enjoyed it. But look for James Naremore's critical view of it in "More Than Night" - he argues that it's almost conservative when compared to the political views expressed in Chandler's novel.

Didn't Leigh Brackett say that she thought that Chandler would've liked the film? The first appointed director for the film was by the way Brian G. Hutton, of the Kelly's Heroes fame.

> "While we're on the subject, the two best casting choices for a
> literary-to-film detective were both made for Mike Hammer adaptations:
> Ralph Meeker in Kiss Me Deadly and Armande Assante in I, the Jury."

While I don't particularly care for the Hammer books, I admire the Aldrich film and think Meeker is just as unpleasant as Hammer needs to be. And there are no salvaging moments, he's just bad and someone not be associated with.


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