RARA-AVIS: Re: The Long Goodbye (the book, not the movie)

From: Seth Harwood ( seth@sethharwood.com)
Date: 11 Aug 2007

In the movie of The Long Goodbye, Marlowe goes down to Mexico and kills Terry Lennox at the end. This throws the book's whole view on friendship and Marlowe's moral code into a different perspective. For my money, though, I'm not sure what motivates Marlowe to be such a damn nice guy to Lennox the whole way and to resist getting paid for anything throughout the book. Personally, coming up where my first exposure to Elliot Gould was the first ER series, I thought he looked pretty cool swaggering through the movie with a five o'clock shadow and a cigarette always parked between his lips. But that's just me. I love the book and the movie, but they're both very different animals.

Another difference with the end of the movie is that Eileen Wade doesn't commit suicide; in fact, as the credits roll (if I remember right) Marlowe passes her on the street in Mexico after he's just killed Lennox. So that adds a note of plotting into the relationship between she and Terry.

Another great reason to like the movie is Arnold Schwartzenegger's first film appearance! When a stand-in for Mendy Menendez gets the great idea that the best way for everyone to trust each other (this is close the the end) is to take their pants off, guess who's right in the middle of the frame, no pants, huge legs. No lines, no credited appearance, but it's funny as hell to see ole Arny standing there--and he's pretty hard to miss.

So, like I said, I have to admit to being a fan of the movie.


Seth Harwood

author of the Jack Palms Crime series find it at sethharwood.com

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