From: jumblejim (
Date: 22 Aug 2003

Brian wrote:
> Let me weigh in with Jim, here. I bought Robert Altman's "The Long
> Goodbye" starring Elliott Gould sight unseen on DVD. It is at best a
> 'loose' adaptation of Chandler's novel. But that's not the reason I don't
> like it. I don't like it because it's meandering, poorly plotted,
> plodding, pedestrian, and outright boring. Even the half-naked chicks
> doing thier nude exercises next door to Marlowe's pad couldn't revive my
> flagging interest in this turkey. It's sad, too, because Gould's a good
> actor, Brackett's a superb writer, and Altman seems to just left it
> rudderless. The film has no direction. The best screenplay in the world
> can't save something where the director refuses to show up.
> Avoid it.

Or don't. I love Chandler more than almost any writer, and I love Altman's Long Goodbye. I've seen it many times, always finding something new to enjoy or respond to. I liked Wendy (nee Walter) Carlos's electronic versions of classical music, too, even though I adore the symphonic originals. A different (even extremely different) take on a story doesn't damage, eliminate, or alter the original. I can love Chandler and love Altman's spin on Chandler. Now if Altman had murdered Chandler and burned all his manuscripts, we might have something to talk about.

Jim Beaver

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