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Customer Review

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a classic!! Where's the Blu-ray?? "It's NOT OK with me!!", 25 Sept. 2010
This review is from: The Long Goodbye [DVD] (1973) (DVD)
Cards on the table, I love this film, and I've seen it loads of times. I've got an original big film poster of it on my wall. I don't care whether it is the same or faithful to the book, because that's irrelevant - it's a film! It has to stand and fall as a film, and there is no point in slavishly sticking to what is on the pages of a book when you are trying to make a great, well paced, and involving film. Gould's Marlowe works wonderfully: he has a real sense of what is right, is cool, and is very human (in short he has depth, and is so much better than James Garner's - boring and smug; and, like, why did he never answer his phone in that TV series?). Gould and Altman are a great combination, as the director lets Gould just do his thing; I only wish that Gould had done more films of this quality (I'm sure he does too!) like when he was paired-up with George Segal in the sublime (Altman) film California Split. The cinematographer, Zsigmond, used some very interesting techniques in shooting this film, including pre-exposing to varying degrees, which imbues it with a beautiful soft/muted colour quality. In fact, why on earth has this film not yet been released in blu-ray? If there was ever a film that deserved the enhanced definition of a blu-ray transfer this is it! But there is so much about this film to recommend it. The 'femme fatale', played by Nina Van Pallandt (her of Nina and Frederick singing fame) is scorchingly beautiful, and a great advert for the 'older' woman (40 years old when she shot this!! Old by Hollywood standards then - and now; she is a bit of posh - read the shorthand for this: "would you like a dried apricot?" which Marlowe politely accepts, but never eats). In fact in a strange way, Marlowe is curiously sexless, and the ravishing naked pot-headed yoga cookie toting neighbours are little more than a mild curiosity to him; this ambivalence making his character even more enigmatic; observing the casual violence of the piece's nasty piece of work getting evil with a coke bottle, he manages to keep calm, and even threatened with having his johnson excised he still refuses to play balls. His familiar line being: "It's OK with me". Whatever your experience of Chandler's work, put that aside and just enjoy the filmscape; it is set in contemporary 70s but remains resolutely timeless. Marlowe is an observer, for the most part, which makes the final scene genuinely shocking. One of the great jokes, and musical pleasures of the film, is how many times 'The Long Goodbye' theme is used in the supermarket, car, bar, etc (#"Can you recognize the theme?"#). Looking forward to the blu-ray's release, when I'll watch it another dozen or so times, no doubt! Maybe even buy extra copies to give as presents - and no, that's not a sign of mania.... Oh! If only I could be as enigmatic as Gould's Marlowe, or even his cat!!
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Jan 2011 12:59:08 GMT
nice review - liked the point about the dried apricots line.

Posted on 16 Feb 2012 17:17:18 GMT
Buddy says:
Top review - You laid your cards on the table and - respect - I dig your opinion - will look at what else you review

Posted on 29 Dec 2012 11:39:30 GMT
J. Pagett says:
Just a postscript to my review of this sublime film. It is now 2012, and the film has finally been released on blu-ray! But only in France, as 'Le Privé'. It looks like a nice transfer, but the downside is that you can't turn off the French subtitles on the English version. But I can live with it. Surely there will be an English release soon. Either way, it is OK with me. Or should that be Il est OK avec moi? Just as a post-postscript, YouTube have an excellent almost hour long interview with Elliott Gould at some American festival about his and Altman's conception of the film, the cultural context, and the production process. It's one not to miss for fans of the film.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Oct 2013 08:35:46 BDT
Marko says:
And here it is indeed - UK Blu-ray edition, loaded with extras will be out in December. How cool is that. One of my fav Altman films - hard to say why.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Oct 2013 20:56:31 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 Oct 2013 20:56:52 BDT
That interview is also included on the upcoming Arrow Blu-ray, scheduled for 2 December 2013.

Here are the full specs:

- High Definition presentation of the film from a digital transfer by MGM Studios;
- Original uncompressed mono 2.0 PCM audio;
- Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired;
-Rip Van Marlowe: an interview with director Robert Altman and star Elliott Gould;
- Vilmos Zsigmond Flashes The Long Goodbye: an interview with the legendary cinematographer;
- Giggle and Give In: Paul Joyce's acclaimed documentary profile of Robert Altman, with contributions from Altman, Elliott Gould, Shelley Duvall, assistant director Alan Rudolph and screenwriter Joan Tewkesbury;
- Elliott Gould Discusses The Long Goodbye: a conversation with crime novelist Michael Connelly, recorded in March 2012;
- David Thompson on Robert Altman: the editor of 'Altman on Altman' and producer of the BBC's 'Robert Altman in England', talks about The Long Goodbye`s place in Altman's filmography;
- On Raymond Chandler: Raymond Chandler's biographer, Tom Williams, outlines the author's life and work and discusses Altman's adaptation of The Long Goodbye;
- On Hard Boiled Fiction: crime writer and critic Maxim Jakubowski discusses the emergence of hard boiled detective characters from the pages of the pulp magazines from the 1920s through to the 1950s;
- Original Theatrical Trailer;
- Radio Spots;
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jay Shaw;
- Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Brad Stevens, an archive interview with screenwriter Leigh Brackett, a new interview with assistant director Alan Rudolph and an American Cinematographer article discussing Vilmos Zsigmond's unique treatment of the film, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Dec 2013 23:30:47 GMT
J. Pagett says:
I'm replying to my own link again, sad or what?! But yes, UK version's here in December! And yes, I'm buying it again. Another film I'd recommend to anyone is Micky Rourke in Barfly. The actor he could have been, and was (confusing, I know). Confuse a cat. Who remembers that?
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Review Details



J. Pagett

Location: West Midlands, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 248,525