The Long Goodbye

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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The Long Goodbye (1973) Director: Robert Altman Producer: Jerry Bick Director of Photography: Vilmos Zsigmond Screenplay: Leigh Brackett Based on a Novel by: Raymond Chandler Editor: Lou Lombardo Music Composed by: John T. Williams Philip Marlwe Elliott Gould Harry David Arkin Eileen Wade Nina Van Pallandt Terry Lennox Jim Bouton Roger Wade Sterling Hayden Morgan Warren Berlinger Marty Augustine Mark Rydell Jo Ann Eggenweiler Jo Ann Brody Dr. Verringer Henry Gibson Hood Vince Palmieri in Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye, a single, unsuccessful private investigator, Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould), is drown into a affair of lust and deception. Based in Los-Angles of the early 70's of the twentieth century. The film is in the Film Noir (=Dark Movie) genre.

Philip Marlowe isn't the classical film noir type, although he has many gestures that go hand in hand with that genre. He smokes a lot. Any surface can be, and is, used to light his cigarettes.

He appears to be cool, gets his messages at the bar, and can have a conversation and mingle in both the low and high class, as can be seen when he is arrested and on the way to the interrogation room, and in the party at the Wade's. On the other hand if we look closer, he actually is dragged after other peoples wants. When he is offered a drink he will have any thing the other person is having, unlike the film noir hero who has his own distinctive drink.

At the beginning of the film Philip Marlwe seems to be very stiff. All of his gestures indicate that he isn't open and dragged after others, but as the movie develops so does his character. By the end he is very loose, for an example in the closing shot of the...