"Well, yeah. He never made any bones about it -- that's exactly what he planned. I'm sure Jim or someone can give you the exact quote. At least Altman displayed an understanding and awareness of -- and arguably, respect for -- Chandler, even if his intention was to subvert him." I'll be that someone that fans the flame. Here's what Altman said:
"The research material we used primarily was Raymond Chandler Speaking, a series of letters, and I made everybody that worked on the picture read that thoroughly. I took the two main characters, both Philip Marlowe and Roger Wade, and I took character traits of Chandler and I applied them to both, and I made one the voice and the other the conscience. His plots are so complicated and so full of holes that the way he plugged the holes was to further complicate them. But he used this thread to hang about sixty thumbnail essays on, so the real interest in Raymond Chandler, to me, were those essays. We tightened the plot up; I dropped half the characters probably; then I used that line to hang a bunch of film essays on. They weren't actually lifted from Raymond Chandler so much as they were projections of him, because if Raymond Chandler were alive in 1972 he wouldn't see things the way he did in 1950 because he would himself have been that much older. I've kept the story in 1952
, but set it in 1972. The goodbye is people going, not in separate directions, but going in the same direction at a different pace." And here's what scriptwriter Leigh Brackett said:
"In its first release, the film was greeted, by some critics, with the tone of outrage generally reserved for those who tamper with the Bible. This seems just a bit silly to me. I'm an old Chandler fan from way back, probably farther back than a lot of the critics. He was a powerful influence on my own work in those years. But I don't feel that any sacrilege was being committed. And I doubt that Chandler himself would have regarded every aspect of his work as Holy Writ.
"I think he might even have liked Altman's version of The Long Goodbye."
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