THIEVES LIKE US
1974, Park Circus/MGM, 123 min, USA, Dir: Robert Altman

Based on the same source novel as Nicholas Ray’s THEY LIVE BY NIGHT, this affecting film stars Keith Carradine, John Schuck and Bert Remsen as escaped convicts who become desperado bank robbers in 1930 Mississippi. When the trio hole up in a gas station, one of them falls for the owner’s daughter (Shelley Duvall). With Tom Skerritt and Louise Fletcher. “Robert Altman finds a sure, soft tone in this movie and never loses it. His account of Coca-Cola-swigging young lovers in the ’30s is the most quietly poetic of his films; it's sensuous right from the first pearly-green long shot, and it seems to achieve beauty without artifice.” - Pauline Kael.


THE LONG GOODBYE
1973, Park Circus/MGM, 112 min, USA, Dir: Robert Altman

Robert Altman deconstructs the private-eye genre while somehow remaining faithful to the spirit of the original Raymond Chandler novel (aided by screenwriter Leigh Brackett, who helped adapt Howard Hawks’ THE BIG SLEEP). Elliott Gould is a smart-aleck, slightly inept Philip Marlowe, a detective seemingly more concerned about feeding a cat than solving a case. He gets drawn into a labyrinth of deceptions and double crosses by friend Terry Lennox (Jim Bouton), a beautiful rich woman (Nina Van Pallandt) with a drunken, genius writer of a husband (Sterling Hayden in a tour de force portrayal), a quietly menacing psychiatrist (Henry Gibson) and a sociopathic gangster (Mark Rydell). Altman rips aside the slick veneer of the Southern California good life, revealing the smog-drenched, corrupt underbelly like few other directors before or since.


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