RARA-AVIS: Re: Marlowe at the Movies

From: Channing ( filmtroll@sbcglobal.net)
Date: 08 Dec 2007

> Now we're counting tickets sold to justify art? And who's driven to
> discuss FARWWELL MY LOVELY with much passion these days. It's a nice
> enough piece of well-mounted and well-crafted fluff that I find quite
> enjoyable, but let's face it: Mitchum got to the party thirty years
> too late and the fussy attention to detail makes it seem like a museum
> piece at times. It's Marlowe in aspic.

Actually this week Robert Ebert reviews Farewell My Lovely in his 4 star Great Movie reviews. Here is a sampling of his praise for Farewell, and I agree with everything he says.

The review is on the Ebert page at suntimes.com Here is a quote from his review:
"It is, indeed, the most evocative of all the private detective movies we have had in the last few years. It is not as great as Roman Polanski's "Chinatown," which was concerned with larger subjects, but in the genre itself there hasn't been anything this good since Hollywood was doing Philip Marlowe the first time around. One reason is that Dick Richards, the director, takes his material and character absolutely seriously. He is not uneasy with it, as Robert Altman was when he had Elliot Gould flirt with seriousness in "The Long Goodbye:" Richards doesn't hedge his bet.

And neither does Robert Mitchum, in what becomes his definitive performance. Mitchum is one of the great screen presences, and at 57 he seems somehow to be just now coming of age: He was born to play the weary, cynical, doggedly romantic Marlowe. His voice and his face and the way he lights his cigaret are all exactly right, and seem totally effortless. That's his trademark. In a good Mitchum performance, we are never aware he is acting. And it is only when we measure the distances between his characters that we can see what he is doing."


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