The Long Goodbye

United Artists Released 1973




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Movie Summary

Robert Altman (I)

Elliott Gould offers a very unusual take on Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler's legendary private eye, in director Robert Altman's updated version of the 1953 novel. In the early hours of the morning, Marlowe is asked by an old school friend, Terry Lennox, to drive him to Tijuana. When Marlowe returns to Los Angeles, he learns that Lennox's wife has been beaten to death and that his friend is the chief suspect. Lennox is reported dead in Mexico and Marlowe, returning to work, is hired by Eileen Wade to find her husband, Roger, an author with a fondness for the bottle. The Wades were Terry's neighbours and Marlowe's suspicion that the two cases are linked intensifies when mobster Marty Augustine turns up looking for a missing $350,000 - which he claims Terry stole and which he now thinks Marlowe might have hidden someplace. Marlowe's life gets very complex...

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Rodney Moss, playing the supermarket assistant, was a real-life assistant at Robert Altman's local supermarket.  Jim Bouton, playing Terry Lennox, was a famous sports commentator.

    • This film was made entirely on location, on a budget of less than two million dollars. There was no credit for a set designer.

    • Arnold Schwarzenegger's wordless cameo as one of Marty Augustine's bodyguards was uncredited, like the one-scene appearance of David Carradine (a much better-known actor than Schwarzenegger at the time) as Marlowe's cell-mate.

    • John Williams's main music theme is heard in many different versions in the course of the film - not just on the soundtrack, but as music over a car radio, music played at a funeral, music hummed by the Marty Augustine character as he waits for Marlowe in his apartment, and even as the chimes at someone's front door. Several different artists perform different verses of the song version of this theme on the film's soundtrack, but we never hear the song sung in its entirety.

  • QUOTES (5)

  • NOTES (1)

    • Mark Rydell returned to acting for the first time in many years to play the villainous Marty Augustine - primarily, he claimed, so that he could study the unusual work methods of director Robert Altman. He told interviewers that he had tried to incorporate Altman's ideas into his next job as a film director, Cinderella Liberty, which he made almost as soon as he finished work on Altman's film. He incorporated several crew members of The Long Goodbye into his own film, notably cameraman Vilmos Zsigmond and composer John Williams.


More Info About This Movie


Thrillers, Crime