Re: RARA-AVIS: Re:The Long Goodbye

From: Terrill Lankford (
Date: 02 Feb 2007

-----Original Message-----
>From: Patrick King <>
>Sent: Feb 2, 2007 5:13 PM
>Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Re:The Long Goodbye
>Elliot Gould was on the edge of the A list at the time
>that movie was made. He's had a great success in MASH.
>He wanted to be a leading man and he is a big fan of
>Chandler. I'm sure he was in on the decision to make
>this movie. This is a very common reason for making
>movies in Hollywood and very few are successful. "The
>greatest gift that God could gee us..." applys here, I
>Patrick King

I don't even understand what the last couple lines in your post mean, but, "It's okay with me."

Gould had nothing to do with developing this movie (until he was cast, of course). Elliot Kastner and Jerry Bick had the rights and were producing the film. They wanted Peter Bogdonavich to direct. He passed and suggested Altman. Altman had to convince the producers that Gould could do the work. Gould was currently in hot water for erratic behavior on a number of recent jobs (he had punched out Anthony Harvey on one flick and even inspired Ingmar Bergman (!) to say he was "difficult" on another). He was unhirable at the time, not someone people were going to for advice on multi-million dollar decisions. Like what movies he'd like to make to bolster his career.

The producers made Gould go through physical and psychological testing before they would hire him. Elliot Gould's desires for "leading man" status, if he had any, played no role in the producers decision to make this movie. They would have made it without him. And they would have made it without Altman. They owned the property and they were in the power position until Altman was hired. From that point on, everthing is a negotiation. It was Altman's belief in Gould that got him the job. Not the other way around.

Yes, producers often cater to big star's egos to get them on board their projects, but if a star is behind the initial development of a movie, you will find his name in the producer's credits. Often they will have their name there even if they were merely a gun for hire.

Gould is not one of the producers of The Long Goodbye. Merely the star.


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