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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