The Long Goodbye (1973) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Long Goodbye1973

The Long Goodbye (1973)

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Critic Consensus: An ice-cold noir that retains Robert Altman's idiosyncratic sensibilities, The Long Goodbye ranks among the smartest and most satisfying Marlowe mysteries.

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Movie Info

"It's OK with me...." Applying his deconstructive eye to the "film noir" tradition, Robert Altman updated Raymond Chandler in his 1973 version of Chandler's novel, The Long Goodbye. Smart-aleck, cat-loving private eye Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) is certain that his friend Terry Lennox (Jim Bouton) isn't a wife-killer, even after the cops throw Marlowe in jail for not cooperating with their investigation into Lennox's subsequent disappearance. Once he gets out of jail, Marlowe starts to conduct his own search when he discovers that mysterious blonde Eileen Wade (Nina Van Pallandt), who hired him to find her alcoholic novelist husband Roger (Sterling Hayden), lives on the same Malibu street as the absent Lennox and his deceased spouse. As numerous variations on the title song play in unexpected places, Marlowe encounters a shady doctor (Henry Gibson), a bottle-wielding gangster (director Mark Rydell), and a guard aping Barbara Stanwyck (among other stars), before heading to Mexico to stumble onto the truth once and for all. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

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Cast

Elliott Gould
as Philip Marlowe
Henry Gibson
as Dr. Verringer
Sybil Scotford
as Real Estate Lady
Steve Coit
as Detective Farmer
Rutanya Alda
as Rutanya Sweet
Jack Riley
as Piano Player
Ken Sansom
as Colony Guard
Jerry Jones
as Detective Green
John S. Davies
as Detective Dayton
Herb Kerns
as Herbie
Danny Goldman
as Bartender
Arnold Schwarzenegger
as Augustine's Hood
Leslie Simms
as Olive (uncredited)
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Critic Reviews for The Long Goodbye

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (9)

A masterpiece of sorts, it digs beneath the surface of the supposedly liberated spirit of the times to expose the ethos that took America into the Vietnam war and produced Watergate.

July 17, 2020 | Full Review…

The film is so inventive in its situations and humor that its shortcomings - the blunt ideas at its core - don't become apparent before several viewings.

July 17, 2020 | Full Review…

Raymond Chandler's sentimental foolishness is the taking-off place for Robert Altman's heady, whirling sideshow of a movie, set in the early-seventies L.A. of the stoned sensibility.

April 18, 2016 | Full Review…

The Long Goodbye is a gloriously inspired tribute to Hollywood that never loses sight of what Los Angeles has become.

January 9, 2012 | Full Review…

An uneven mixture of insider satire on the gumshow film genre, gratuitous brutality, and sledgehammer whimsy.

February 11, 2009 | Full Review…

Despite cries of outrage from hard-line Chandler purists, this is, along with Hawks' The Big Sleep, easily the most intelligent of all screen adaptations of the writer's work.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Long Goodbye

Imagine walking down a riotous Bourbon Street in New Orleans one blurry Mardi Gras evening while following your best bud, who's not quite drunk but has had a few, and you'll get the sense Robert Altman and Elliot Gould convey in their 1970's spin on 1940's detective Philip Marlowe, which is kinda cool actually. The fact that very little of what's going on making any kind of real sense seems to be annoyingly quibblesome - just hang on. Seldom not interesting.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

½

An intricate film noir satire that has all the elements that we expect from a Raymond Chandler story, only this time the protagonist of The Big Sleep is updated to the 1970s with a shocker in the end and a delicious melancholy song that will stay in your head for a long time.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

So good, it hurts.

Kevin Cookman
Kevin Cookman

Super Reviewer

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