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The Long Goodbye (Widescreen) (Sous-titres français) [Import]

4.0 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Elliott Gould, Nina van Pallandt, Sterling Hayden, Robert Altman, Mark Rydell
  • Directors: Robert Altman, Greg Carson
  • Writers: Leigh Brackett, Raymond Chandler
  • Producers: Greg Carson, Elliott Kastner, Jerry Bick, Robert Eggenweiler
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Fox Video (Canada) Limited
  • Release Date: Sept. 17 2002
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000069HZU
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Product Description

Product Description

Elliott Gould gives one of his best performances (Esquire) as a quirky, mischievous PhilipMarlowe in Robert Altman's fascinating and original (Newsweek) send-up of Raymond Chandler's classic detective story. Co-starring Nina Van Pallandt and Sterling Hayden and written by Leigh Brackett (The Big Sleep) The Long Goodbye is a gloriously inspired tribute to Hollywood (The Hollywood Reporter) with an ending that's as controversial as it is provocative (Los Angeles Times)! Los Angeles private eye Philip Marlowe (Gould) faces the most bizarre case of his life, when a friend's apparent suicide turns into a double murder involving a sexy blonde, a disturbed gangster and a suitcase full of drug money. But as Marlowe stumbles toward the truth, hesoon finds himself lost in a maze of sex and deceitonly to discover that in L.A., if love is dangerous friendship is murder.

Raymond Chandler's cynically idealistic hero, Philip Marlowe, has been played by everyone from Humphrey Bogart to James Garner--but no one gives him the kind of weirdly affect-less spin that Elliott Gould does in this terrific Robert Altman reimagining of Chandler's penultimate novel. Altman recasts Marlowe as an early '70s L.A. habitué, who gets involved in a couple of cases at once. The most interesting involves a suicidal writer (Sterling Hayden in a larger-than-life performance) whom Marlowe is supposed to keep away from malevolent New-Ageish guru Henry Gibson. A variety of wonderfully odd characters pop up, played by everyone from model Nina Van Pallandt to director Mark Rydell to ex-baseballer Jim Bouton. And yes, that is Arnold Schwarzenegger (in only his second movie) popping up as (what else?) a muscleman. Listen for the title song: It shows up in the strangest places. --Marshall Fine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
There are so many good ideas and concepts at work in this film. Here are a few:
1: In the DVD Special Features, Director Robert Altman talks about his overall concept for this film. His problem was how does a filmaker take a character that is so much from a different era and place him in modern times? Altman came up with a conceptual framework: look at the film as though Philip Marlowe, Chandler's ace detective from the 1940's, has been sleeping for thirty years and wakes up in the 1970's. Altman called it his "Rip Van Marlowe" concept. He thought of the film this way because he wanted to place the classic 1940 Marlowe sense of integrity and ethical code in the free-wheeling Seventies. This idea is ingenious and fits Eliott Gould's hip but outsider acting style to a tee.
2: Altman keeps the camera moving at all times. The lens does not jerk around in a mise en scene way, but more with long, smooth tracking and pan shots. This gives the movie a great feeling of constant action and forward movement, even when folks are just talking. The camera movement is done in such a smooth way, it seems very natural - as if you, the viewer, were really watching the action and simply turning your head to follow the flow of life.
3: The movie theme song is beautiful and was written by Johnny Mercer. It has a classic feel, and it dominates the sound of the film. Altman has put this haunting melody everywhere; in the sound of a doorbell, in the tune played in a Mexican funeral, in songs that come over half-heard radios - everywhere. It is the song the small time lounge piano player is trying to learn in the background of one scene, and it is the song that you will find yourself humming once the film is over. All this is almost done on a subliminal level, and it is brilliant.
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Format: VHS Tape
THE LONG GOOD-BYE comes from a championship bloodline. Like the Kennedy teeth and jaw line, it has scenes in which you recognize its heritage, that being Altman. For that it gets some points, but that alone can't keep it afloat. The concept of mixing up Raymond Chandler's classic hardboiled detective character Philip Marlowe with 70's Los Angeles must have looked good on paper but in execution it is hazy. Part of the problem is that Elliott Gould's Marlowe is half 70's mentality and a whiff retro, thus killing the irony of contrast with the times. Women do not fare well in this film: they are topless hippies, brutalized mistresses or, possibly, bad guys. Drippy. When it comes down to it, the only moral touchstones in this flick--and every story needs at least one--are the cat and the dog, and they aren't in enough scenes. If you want a thriller and a more evocative retro/present look at LA, as well as a name brand of sorts, get Kenneth Brannagh's DEAD AGAIN. If what you want is more Altman, then knock yourself out with this.
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Format: DVD
This film is rather unusual. When American cinema sets out to adapt a novel for the screen what they normally do is smooth off the sharp edges, make it less dark, sanitize it, make the characters better looking, more squeaky clean, make the ending happier, etc. What Altman does to Chandler is pretty well the very opposite of this, presenting a far bleaker and more pessimistic of Philip Marlow and his world than Chandler does. It's also unusually demanding and literate in that it doesn't simply adapt the book and set out to tell a similar story. It also comments on the book and the central things it says will only succeed in communicating themselves to those who know the book. That fact may go a long way to explaining why the film is rather less well known than it deserves to be.
Of course it's about Marlow, a LA private i. who is woken up one night by his old friend Terry Lennox who asks for a lift to Mexico. Marlow complies only to be hauled over the coals by the cops the next day when it turns out Lennox's wife has been murdered. Now Marlow is resolved to prove his friend is innocent... Meanwhile he gets a call from Nina van Pallandt's Ellen Wade who wants him to find her stray husband Roger (Sterling Hayden) and it seems they knew the Lennoxes. Meanwhile too, the psychopathic hoodlum Marty Augustine (Mark Rydell) is squeezing Marlow for the money Lennox owed him... Then the plot thickens. Enough said.
The use of music is rather distinctive and contributes quite a lot to the film's unique feel. There's a slow, jazzy theme song and, much if not all the time, it's the only music we hear. It's not just used as incidental music but dominates the sound environment of the action. When Marlow goes to a bar, it is being played on the piano.
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Format: DVD
The thing that strikes you when you when you first sit down with this film is, "Elliot Gould as PHILLIP MARLOW?? Didn't Bogey nail that role so well that he owns it?"
Well, he does and he doesn't. Gould is a brilliant casting-against-type, and Altman admits in the supplemental materials that it was this casting that finally drew him to the film.
Gould's Marlow is subtle, understated, and very casual. He spends most of the movie giving the impression that nothing gets to him, that he is above all the lunacy that goes on around him. Yet, in the end we see that his moral foundation runs very deep, and his sense of justice is stronger than his malaise.
Altman's direction is the true star of this film. As is said in other reviews, this film only works in widescreen. It's a stylistic triumph, and the camera work is particularly evocative. Viewing this film today, we might see these unsteady, roaming images as passe, but in 1973 this technique was groundbreaking. [It disturbed the critics so much that they didn't "get it" (of course, they didn't "get" 2001 either...).] Yet, Altman's treatment - so new in 1974 - is actually far more mature than most of what passes for modern cinematography today.
It will take you about 15 minutes to make peace with Gould's Marlow, but only one minute to realize you are in the presence of something very special. This is one of those buried jems waiting for your discovery.
Relish it.
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