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The Long Goodbye [Blu-ray]

4.1 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Elliott Gould, Nina van Pallandt, Sterling Hayden
  • Directors: Robert Altman
  • Format: Dolby
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Arrow Academy
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Dec. 2013
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,898 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description


When private eye Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) is visited by an old friend, this sets in train a series of events in which he s hired to search for a missing novelist (Sterling Hayden) and finds himself on the wrong side of vicious gangsters.

So far so faithful to Raymond Chandler, but Robert Altman s inspired adaptation of the writer s most personal novel takes his legendary detective and relocates him to the selfish, hedonistic culture of 1970s Hollywood, where he finds that his old-fashioned notions of honour and loyalty carry little weight, and even his smoking (universal in film noir) is now frowned upon.

Widely misunderstood at the time, The Long Goodbye is now regarded as one of Altman s best films and one of the outstanding American films of its era, with Gould s shambling, cat-obsessed Marlowe ranking alongside more outwardly faithful interpretations by Humphrey Bogart and Robert Mitchum.

Special Features

  • 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
  • David Thompson on Robert Altman - David Thompson, 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
  • Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Brad Stevens, a new interview with assistant director Alan Rudolph and an extract from American Cinematographer discussing Zsigmond s unique treatment of the film, illustrated with original archive stills and posters


Raymond Chandler's cynically idealistic hero of The Long Goodbye, 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 Los Angeles 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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Terry Lennox has a problem. He's in trouble and needs help getting out of the country. Who else can he go to than one of his best friends, Philip Marlowe? All he asks is that Marlowe drive him down to Tijuana...right now. Marlowe, a private eye who probably has few good friends other than Lennox, does it. When Marlowe gets back hours later, he's picked up by the cops, knocked around, jailed and finally released. It seems Terry's wife has been beaten to death and the police want to know where Terry is. Marlowe doesn't believe that his friend is a killer and decides he'll look into the case. He also is hired by the sexy Eileen Wade to find her missing husband, the aging alcoholic writer Roger Wade. Funny, Marlowe finally decides, that the Wades live very close to the Lennox house in an exclusive, gated Malibu enclave (with a private cop at the gate who does a good imitation of Barbara Stanwyck). Then Marlowe is forced into a private conversation with the gangster Marty Augustine...something about a missing $50,000 of Augustine's that Lennox supposedly had and that Augustine wants back. Marlowe is taught how vicious Augustine can be in one violent act so startling it'll make your stress level rise every time Augustine shows up. Marlowe finally puts all the pieces together, slowly and persistently, until he finds himself in Mexico for probably the last time.

Is this really Philip Marlowe we're watching? Well, it's Robert Altman's Philip Marlowe, which means Raymond Chandler probably wouldn't recognize him. Is this a bad thing? Not at all. Altman (and Elliot Gould as Marlowe) has put his own imprint on the iconic gumshoe. Marlowe is often just confused by things.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
A great Robert Altman movie, currently unavailable on Blu-ray in the U.S. Arrow has done a spectacular job with the packaging - the booklet is stuffed with essays, interviews, etc. But the movie visuals are seriously flawed. In the scene where Marlowe arrives at the party and a group of people are singing and playing the piano, a white splotch of missing picture information is frozen for several seconds at the top of the frame. Also there are scratches and other flaws throughout. So when I see the often muddy color inthe film, even though I know the negative was intentionally flashed during production, I can't tell I'm seeing the film the way it was meant to look because clearly it hasn't been fully restored. I don't buy Blu-rays because I bought the movies on laserdisc and DVD and now I want to buy them AGAIN; I buy Blu-rays because I expect the movie to sound and look as good as it possibly can. "Usual Suspects" dumped on Blu with no extras and no commentary, and now anyone even awake at MGM?
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Format: DVD
The Long Goodbye is directed by Robert Altman and loosely adapted to screenplay by Leigh Brackett from the Raymond Chandler story. It stars Elliott Gould, Nina van Pallandt, Sterling Hayden, David Arkin, Jim Bouton and Mark Rydell. Music is by John Williams and cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond.

Private Detective Phillip Marlowe (Gould) tries to help a friend who is accused of murdering his wife, but he is quickly thrust into a world of bluffs, deceits, alcoholics, violence and a suspicious suicide.

Much has been made about how Altman and Brackett tampered with the Chandler source material, so much so I have seen and read some venomous arguments/diatribes as regards the film's worth. Venturing into it for the first time I was forewarned that it plonks legendary Private Dic Phillip Marlowe into a 70s setting, that it satirises the gumshoe aspects of decades previously to put Marlowe as a sort of man out of his time. Then there's the controversial ending thought up by Brackett, and the casting of Gould as Marlowe that caused some consternation to Chandler purists. So as much as I adore Bogart and Powell's takes on Marlowe, I ventured into The Long Goodbye with an open mind. And I'm so glad I did.

I love it, I really do, I found it so easy to dissociate this neo-noir version of Marlowe with the hard boiled film noir versions from the classic cycle. This Marlowe is a riot, abused and used by those around him, he is world weary to the extreme, he can't even bluff his own cat, who it appears is probably his only real friend. He sleepwalks through life quipping away to himself because nobody else cares to listen anyway, and he chain-smokes, how unfashionable! But he is always cool, even when faced with hostile cops or murderous thugs, his coolness is not for shaking.
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By KaleHawkwood TOP 100 REVIEWER on 21 Nov. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In 1973, Robert Altman caught the special wry, shy, impudent, gangly, jazzy, tousled quality of Elliott Gould to a tee. In The Long Goodbye - a delirious riff on Chandler`s penultimate novel - he also showed LA as a boho Eden-after-the-fall filled with unbalanced well-dressed gangsters, scantily-dressed neighbourhood dolly birds, and tense, amoral middle-aged wives. Down these mean-enough streets ambles a version of Philip Marlowe that isn`t as far from Bogart`s (or Mitchum`s from the same decade) as one might imagine. Those who complain that this isn`t much like Chandler`s long, elegiac novel either haven`t read it lately or are missing the point, or most probably both.
I love the way Altman lets the plot hang fire for stretches at a time while we are entertained by Gould`s/Marlowe`s attempts to feed his cat, pass the time of day with the amiable girls across the way - "Oh, Mr Marlowe, you`re the nicest neighbour we`ve ever had" - or engage in backchat with whoever happens to cross his path. This is a man who`s only incidentally a private eye (Altman doesn`t seem too interested in his detective work or the reason he`s on a particular case) and who moves to a secret rhythm of his own, a hippy-jazz-stoner-shamus with an ongoing monologue in his head which, to our delight, we are made privy to.
There are some terrific performances, not least from sometime director Mark Rydell as an unpredictable, violent petty gangster, Nina van Pallandt as the rich-bitch wife, and a mightily indulged though still effective Sterling Hayden as a Hemingwayesque writer, pretty much playing himself, all piratical swagger - Hayden was himself a sea adventurer who would write the occasional book when back on dry land.
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