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The Long Goodbye [Blu-ray]
Format: Blu-ray|Change
Price:£11.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


TOP 50 REVIEWERon 11 July 2017
The whole tone of this film is pretty crazy, which is much better than any other Altman could have adopted; in fact, it's not so far from MASH, or the kind of playful quality you get in John Cassavetes films. You can imagine Peter Falk walking into the frame at any moment and the semi-comic banter just carrying on ... Instead it's Elliott Gould, of course, as Philip Marlowe, played with a sexiness right from the first shots of him recumbent on his bed, abundant curls playing around his head in the lamplight. He then gets up to feed his cat in an extended riff focusing on the fussiness of the pet, which will only eat a certain brand. Marlowe, so in control in the original Big Sleep, so cool (if, for me, profoundly uninvolving), here has a freewheeling charm, is unflappable, frankly groping, but unfazed, even by three nights spent in police custody for no good reason. He just ambles through it, with a hint of the breeze. The story is quite a bleak one, were it not for the absurdity that frequently shows up. Marlowe is trying initially to find the writer husband of a glamorous wife, then the former walks into the sea and he makes connections between the wife and another man, who seems to have committed suicide in Mexico, having killed his wife.

In the end, it isn't so hard to follow, which is a relief after The Big Sleep. The ironic posture - this is a film noir played for laughs, but not so obviously that it loses its shine - is continually fascinating. Mark Rydell pops up as a gangster, at one point very violent, even if briefly, which I hated, but the consequences don't seem as bad as you might have feared. He is totally cracked, and suggests in one scene that they all strip for the sake of greater honesty. It also means that there is something to balance out the picture of Marlowe's neighbours, a group of girls hanging out on their balcony topless. It could hardly be more 70s. Anyway they do start to strip, one of them being Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has a non-speaking part, but is wearing a superb pair of underpants on his very buff body, that looks like a girdle. All this is revealed quite casually, picked up on by a later scene where we see Marlowe emerge from a hospital bed in the same style of underwear. It is typical of the consistent look that Altman achieves here, which extends also to the music. What a beautiful song The Long Goodbye is - heard in innumerable versions throughout the film to reflect changes in mood. There is beauty everywhere here, including the Mexican landscape which we see as the Mexican police car rolls through it ... everything is kept in motion, apparently to give the sense of the viewer being a voyeur. Whatever, I think we should have had more shots of Arnie, in his absolute prime ... and Gould also ... what style, what gentle unflappability - a character transformed! It seems incredible that the film didn't do that well on first release, it looks so extraordinary now.
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on 19 August 2014
Lets make it clear, the colours may be faithful to the original release and there are no scratches, flecks etc, but this is not a full digital restoration, At various times watching this i took off my glasses to check there were no smears on the lenses and there are clearly a few other issues as well. If you are buying the blu to replace your PAL DVD, you won't be overly impressed. The improvements are marginal at best.
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on 11 January 2017
Lovers of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe books would hate this movie, so they should not buy it. I was doubtful from the beginning about Gould as Marlowe. Chandler would not recognise his creation in this tedious, awful representation of his book. Yes, there is violence in the book but not the extreme, gratuitous violence featured in the movie. Keep clear if you are looking for intelligent and well-crafted entertainment..
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 21 November 2012
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.
There`s also a very funny peach of a cameo by Ken Sansom, gate-guard of the Malibu Colony (where the wealthy live) who likes to do impressions of the stars for Marlowe before letting him through. His Stanwyck, Stewart and Grant are fine enough, but his Walter Brennan should have got him an Oscar nomination!
Beautifully shot by Vilmos Zsigmond and directed with careless flair by Altman, this is one of the most entertaining, if empty, films of the seventies.
Empty? Well, yes. The ending is, I supppose, cathartic, but it isn`t really earned by what`s gone before. Suddenly, we are shown a Marlowe who actually cares, after 100 minutes of duck-and-dive cute talk and chain-smoking, rough-diamond charm. It`s a sobering denouement and, as Marlowe is wont to say to almost anything during the course of the film, "It`s OK by me." But one is left curiously unsatisfied after the promise of what has gone before.
No matter, this is a wonderful film in its determinedly offbeat way, and I doubt Elliott Gould ever had a better role to suit his lopsided grin and shy, shambolic presence.
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on 1 January 2017
Chandler's storyline has been sacrificed to make a trendy interpretation of his classic novel. The dialogue has gone for a Burton's along with several major important characters. What remains is a hippy west coast 1960/70s impressionistic collage with a jazzy soundtrack.
Elliot Gould is cool, but he's not much like Chandler's Marlowe. For me Chandler's use of language is what makes him special and it's missing. The style is also radically different: no gimlets and Marlowe now has a cat!
It's a good atmospheric entertaining movie, but it's not the Marlowe Chandler created.
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on 1 September 2017
It is disappointing to see that Raymond Chandler sold out the rights of this book for this rubbish to be made. The smirking childlike poor performance by the lead Elliot Gould (whos only good work was in Ray Donavon - Amazon) is laughable. Remember all detectives stand in the shadow of Philip Marlowe, but this this film makes Marlowe look an idiot. Marlowe was tolerant to fault, would never have shot an old friend or used the F word. Yuck.
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on 29 January 2016
Don't go expecting this film to remind you of the great Raymond Chandler's novel. I recommend you read the book (and his other works) and have really good time. But taken as genre film in it's own right it certainly, in my opinion, rates very highly in the canon of detective noir movies. I rated the film an 8 out of 10 on imdb. The Blu-ray gets a 5 star review rating (only a mono soundtrack and a small blemish that appears in the movie lasting about 30 seconds detracts it, but otherwise excellent and in keeping with the original movie). I'm happy with my purchase.
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on 5 September 2015
One of my favourite Robert Altman films along with McCabe & Mrs. Miller and the rather less popular Kansas City. Very good transfer and comes with a nice & informative booklet. Glad I managed to sell my old dvd copy, I always had a problem with the cover image (Marlowe with gun in hand to help sell a few more copies!). This edition also has a double sided cover but I much prefer the one shown here. The special features are extensive, no commentary but a lengthy interview with Elliott Gould, 90's Altman documentary etc.
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on 7 July 2015
This is not a review of the movie The Long Goodbye -- you all have your own opinions about that already-- but rather a note to reassure people who may have concerns about the image quality on the Arrow Academy Blu-ray version of The Long Goodbye.

The first thing to say is that the theatrical print was developed using a post-flashing technique to give it a washed-out look. For techies, there is an excellent article in the notes which accompany the Blu-ray on what exactly post-flashing is. On the transfer of print to Blu-ray, the notes also claim that Arrow's transfer is "correct and true to the film's original theatrical release." I have no reason to doubt Arrow's assertion here, as I myself think that the picture quality throughout is excellent.

I should also say, as the Product Description on Amazon's main page does not (but is otherwise very good), that the notes also contain a very interesting interview with Leigh Brackett, the writer of the screenplay.
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on 30 May 2015
This is an O.K private eye film but although it it is rated as a five star film in the radio times film guide I think it is very much over rated, I found it quite slow and it does drag on in places, the characters are good and Arnold Schwarzenegger has a cameo role in it, I feel it would be alot better film if the pace was faster and more exciting!!
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