RARA-AVIS: RE: Marlowe movies as Bracketted

From: Dick Lochte ( dlochte@adelphia.net)
Date: 03 Jul 2003

In my opinion, the reason so many Chandler fans hate the film
"The Long Goodbye" has nothing to do with its semi-surreal style or with its loose regard for the novel. Viewing it now on DVD, you get the overall impression of a pretty entertaining flick that doesn't show its age very much. The wealthy are still above the law. L.A.'s supermarkets are still big and bright and empty at night. There's still a hint of hippy-dip in the air: the half-naked blissninny neighbors nibbling mind-altering brownies still do exist in the Hollywood hills, though they now tend to go for something with a harder hit that turns them considerably less attractive. The big, perhaps the only problem for Chandler heads is that mean-spirited ending. I doubt that it's Brackett's. By having Marlowe dancing down the road to the tune of Hooray for Hollywood at the fade, Altman was trying to underline his main point with a thick pen, in case you missed it. No real problem there. But the scene just before that, involving Marlowe and Terry Lennox, does more than merely mock the convention. It trashes Chandler's definition of the kind of man Marlowe is supposed to be. And that's not nice.

Dick Lochte

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