Re: RARA-AVIS: Re:The Long Goodbye

From: Patrick King (
Date: 26 Jan 2007

Stve Novak wrote:
"I¹d be less gentle than Jim B...Jim D. you need to watch it, and watch it again, and again...and maybe in between repeated viewings you need some Glenfiddish or Lagavulin... or somethin¹...because the film is excellent!"

Frankly, Steve, if one has to watch it over and over and alter one's consciousness too, in order to appreciate it, how good can it be? I find Altman's The Long Goodbye a dull, half hearted attempt made primarily to help Elliott Gould change his image. Even in this, the film is a failure. The only film that really captures the essense of Chandler's LA is Bogart's The Big Sleep, and even this was ruined by the Hayze Office and their censorship policies. These stories can all be remade with fidelity to the plot and the era to great advantage. Anything less will be the usual Hollywood 'rush with the flush,' and others will be having this same discussion 20 years from now about how good the originals are and how stupid producers are to screw with their basic elements.

Patrick King

--- Steve Novak <> wrote:

> I¹d be less gentle than Jim B...Jim D. you need to
> watch it, and watch it
> again, and again...and maybe in between repeated
> viewings you need some
> Glenfiddish or Lagavulin...or somethin¹...because
> the film is excellent!
> Moreover theres¹ Jim Bouton in it, the pride of
> Newark (and Yankees) as
> Terry Lennox...and for this Frenchman this is
> invaluable!
> Steve Novak
> Heres¹ a readin¹ for you:
> The Long Goodbye (1973)
> Reviewed by Michael Thomson
> Updated 8 January 2001
> When "The Long Goodbye" was first released, Raymond
> Chandler fans dropped
> their jaws at what they perceived as an utter
> outrage. How could Robert
> Altman - one of America's most creative, irreverent
> film makers - turn
> Chandler's super-sleuth, Philip Marlowe, into a not
> particularly sharp slob?
> And of course, this is exactly the kind of fuss
> Altman has always relished.
> Now, more than 30 years on, "The Long Goodbye" can
> be re-evaluated since it
> is currently being re-released as part of an Altman
> season at the National
> Film Theatre. Altman cleverly hired Leigh Brackett,
> who had co-scripted "The
> Big Sleep" (still Chandler's definitive screen
> moment), and she helped
> Altman layer a picture that is as much a crisp
> comment on contemporary LA
> (and its full-on egotism) as a tale delineating
> Marlowe's crime-busting
> pursuits.
> As the gumshoe comes to the aid of a rather odd
> friend who is suspected of
> killing his wife, Altman employs both laser-sharp
> irony and broad jokiness
> (the latter often via John Williams' score) as he
> places Los Angeles under
> the microscope, while Elliott Gould in the lead
> seems to relish the joke of
> serving up Marlowe in a radically different way.
> Excellent support is provided throughout. You might
> recognise Austria's most
> famous film star in an early, uncredited bit-part.
> On 1/24/07 1:58 PM, "Jim Beaver"
> <> wrote:
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "JIM DOHERTY"
> >> >
> >> > It still does cause outcries from Chandler
> fans, as
> >> > well it should, since it's a piece of crap that
> has so
> >> > little reason to exist that, had Altman's
> parents
> >> > known that conceiving Robert Altman would
> eventually
> >> > result in his version TLG being put on film,
> they
> >> > would have remained celibate.
> >
> > Ooh, that's hard. I love Altman's TLG -- love it.
> It's not Chandler, it's
> > Altman, as they say. More than that, if it were a
> song, it wouldn't be the
> > Dinah Shore "Blues in the Night," it'd be the
> Charlie Parker.
> >
> > Jim Beaver
> >
> >
> >
> [Non-text portions of this message have been
> removed]

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