by Robert Altman

Reviewer Rating:
5
Genres:

Review

Though I haven't read the novel by Raymond Chandler, I loved this adaptation of his work. I understand that this version changes several key plot features from the original work. I sometimes find classic detective fiction and mystery novels to be too much about conspiracy and sudden twists or murders and femme fatales and not enough about character. Elliott Gould does a remarkable job creating a character for Phillip Marlowe that is unlike those actors who have portrayed him in the past. And he's delightful, with a kind of goofy, smart aleck, take-it-as-it-comes life-view that I admire and envy, though with a strict code of honor. "It's ok with me," is one of his catch phrases, though we see that this is not always the case, as he becomes more and more bothered by the 1970s setting around him. I have watched this movie many many times, and love his character more every time. Several other bright spots are Sterling Hayden as Roger Wade, a remarkable soundtrack by John Williams of different versions of the same excellent song (The Long Goodbye) over and over (including a mariachi version, a sitar version, and two great versions by Jack Sheldon and Clydie King) and an uncredited appearance of Arnold Schwarzenegger as a non-speaking bodyguard. There are no dark spots.

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Comments

I did not love it, but it is ok.

It is one of the best movies ever.

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