Farewell, My Lovely - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Farewell, My Lovely Reviews

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March 17, 2016
Sylvester Stallone one year before Rocky, 29-year old Charlotte Rambling as seriously gorgeous yet murderous Femme Fatal and Robert Mitchum as Philippe Marlow. Story with hookers, hoodlums and gunslinging. I could not help it but I was missing Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart as Marlow in Big Sleep!
January 16, 2016
Robert Mitchum's Philip Marlowe is tired. His face is lined, his eyes bagged, his attitude contemptuous. He's seen it all: a gun, a fist, is not so much a threat as it is an irritation - a dweller of the Los Angeles night for his entire adult life, nothing scares him anymore. Henchmen, hookers, death? A bore. The only thing that gives him a real kind of joy, oddly, is watching Joe DiMaggio's career flourish. At least criminals and masqueraded snakes aren't sneaking around that particular region of the world.
For years, I've billed Dick Powell ("Murder, My Sweet") and Humphrey Bogart ("The Big Sleep") as the best incarnations of hard-bitten Detective Marlowe ever to live on the silver screen, but now that I've studied Mitchum's portrayal in this 1975 adaptation of Raymond Chandler's "Farewell, My Lovely," I'm not as surlily confident. Powell and Bogart, handsome and relatively young at their times of embodiment, made Marlowe's romanticized misanthropy something of a charming quirk, not an overwhelming character trait. But Mitchum, 57 upon release and an unequaled film noir legend of the 1940s and '50s, captures the quintessential "seen-it-all" demeanor the previously mentioned masterpieces were missing - unlike his more celebrated counterparts, an authentic grit is very much a part of his persona.
So it's a pleasant surprise that "Farewell, My Lovely" does not feel like an homage to the film noir genre nor an unneeded update. It has the moods and mannerisms found in the best of examples, perhaps because of Dick Richards's beautifully detail oriented direction, because Mitchum himself was a thriving figure of the genre, or because Charlotte Rampling really does look and act an awful lot like Lauren Bacall and Claire Trevor. The movie doesn't just hit all the right notes of film noir tropes: it also enlivens them, like a Chopin classic being played by an energized Valentina Lisitsa. It walks and breathes, contrasting greatly to most neo-noir in that it doesn't seem all too dependent on following in the footsteps of the classics adored before it.
It is the second adaptation of "Farewell, My Lovely," the first being 1944's wonderful "Murder, My Sweet," the name changed in an attempt to morph Dick Powell's song-and-dance career into something serious. But comparison is unnatural, as "Murder" is a hard-boiled, of-the-time entry, while "Farewell" is self-aware, stylistically savvy, and unafraid of censorship. To say which is better would be an atrocity - both are masterworks in their own right - but similar is their spirit, by which exploring the underbellies of Los Angeles's seedy crime world is exciting, mazy, and intoxicating, bewildering in the truest sense of the word.
"Farewell, My Lovely" follows Marlowe as he is tasked with two complex cases, one of passion and one of fear. The first is assigned by Moose Malloy (Jack O'Halloran), a dumb lug determined to find an old flame, prostitute Velma, after being released from prison. The other job is kicked off by Lindsay Marriott (John O'Leary), a blackmail victim in need of protection. As in all good and decent film noir, of course the cases are related, and of course are much more intricate than a first appearance might suggest. But Marlowe approaches both with a heavy sigh and a heavy heart, curiosity accidental.
In most adaptations of Raymond Chandler written, Marlowe centric novels, things are better when we aren't so sure of the inner workings of the plot - atmosphere is given a chance to shine, conversations flowing like honey without ever necessary moving the story forward. Most important in "Farewell, My Lovely" is its hazy, soporific aura, and we're pulled into its world of smoke and mirrors like a hypnotist's victim. Characters move in and out, setting the tones and colors of individual scenes; most memorable is Rampling, as femme fatale Helen Grayle, who is one of the few actresses able to persuade us that she could have made it as a movie star in any decade of her choosing, a timeless figure of acting ability matching in allure. And Richards knows how to handle this sort of material, and these sorts of actors - we can tell that he grew up on film noir, a treasurer of its mythical conceits and not one to dramatically hinder what made the genre so special in the first place. His control over its audience is striking.
But "Farewell, My Lovely" is sensational as a whole, vivid and a possessor of all the most enjoyable characteristics of the category. Most conclude that 1974's "Chinatown," unseen by me, is the superior homage of the 1970s. But I can hardly picture another genre film as wayward, as buzzing, as piping hot to the touch, as this.
September 29, 2015
Overwall I was very satisfied with this great moody noir of Los Angeles in 1940´s. Outstanding performance by Robrt Mitchum as the loser detective Phillip Marlowe. You can watch Sylvester Stallone in his first appearence before Rocky.
May 28, 2015
Mitchum is superb as Marlowe, although a bit old perhaps. He's the right size finally for the big lug and has just the right sarcastic edge. Moose is a bit of a let down, but everyone else is spot on. The atmosphere is just right and, since this is the 1970's they're able to include some of the more seedy elements of Chandler's story than the excellent 1944 Powell version.
April 23, 2015
A "Film Noir" attitude in Dick Richards remake of "Farewell, My Lovely".
½ November 19, 2014
A good neo noir movie from 1975 set in 1941
October 12, 2014
A fine mystery thriller. Robert Mitchum is superb as Ray Chandler's Philip Marlowe.
October 11, 2014
Farewell, My Lovely est l'archétype du film noir américain, avec un protagoniste principal aussi sympathique que poissard, des personnages tous retors et à la limite de la caricature, une atmosphère pesante mais très efficace et une musique jazzy omniprésente. Dick Richards s'en sort très bien, aidé par un Robert Mitchum des grands jours. Grinçant, passionnant et surtout particulièrement bien filmé, Farewell, My Lovely est un très bon divertissement.
½ December 13, 2013
Robert Mitchum successfully takes over the character of Philip Marlowe--Encore!!
June 24, 2013
Great noir with good mood and exceptional performance by Robert Mitchum.
March 20, 2013
Caught this on cable and am now crestfallen that I can't own it to re-watch on DVD, which is just a shame, as this one would definitely hold up to numerous re-watches.

Mitchum is amazing as always in a noir role, and young(ish) Charlotte Rampling is pretty easy on the eyes; well worth tracking down.

½ June 24, 2012
Mitchum is incredible as Marlowe, far superior to Bogart or Gould, though I don't fully understand Hollywoods love affair with the character. Some great atmosphere and production design is unfortunately mostly hampered by flimsy direction, with the exception of the the whole brothel segment of the film, which is effectively grotesque and thoroughly entertaining.
½ June 13, 2012
A 1970s film mostly shot and acted like the 1940s never ended. So what is new here? Nudity, better acting, and drugs. All told I loved it, even if it is not exceptional. I am a sucker for these films though. The lines are great and you get to see Stallone play a thug.
½ May 13, 2012
Mitchum in his later years, but still good.
January 14, 2012
This film is based on a brilliant book, and it would have been hard to make a bad movie.
Ironically, this is the sequel to 'The Big Sleep' and yet on both occasions that this film has been made, the Big Sleep was made just after it.
Whilst Marlowe will always be Humphrey Bogart to me, in this version Robert Mitchum is really good.
The voice over noir narration is brilliant, filled with classic lines (some of which were parodied in The Naked Gun!), and some classic subtle gags.
The score is really brilliant and very reminiscent of Chinatown.
I had read that Stallone played Moose Malloy, but that role was filled by Jack O'Halloran whom I'd only seen previously in Superman II as the non talking Nom.
Overall, a very good film. Much better than Mitchum's flat version of the Big Sleep.
September 2, 2011
I'd forgotten how great this Film was! There is a certain Elegance to the Phillip Marlowe Private Eye, perhaps it's that he(Robert Mitchum) narrates it as well as Stars, or it's the Wardrobes of the cast ,or the Noir way it's Filmed, but in Stylish Decors & Locations.This was on TMC the other night so I DVR'd it & saw so much more than I'd appreciated in earlier viewing.For instance, a very young Sylvester Stallone(Pre Rocky Stardom) is a Gangster in this. Charlotte Rampling, who I'd only known as an older actress, is an Exquisite , Lauren Bacall-esqe, wealthy Politicians Wanton Wife, who's beauty is more Handsome than Beautiful with a combo of masculine & feminine traits just like Lauren Bacall.The Cast of Character Actors, Jack O'Halloran, Sylvia Miles Harry Dean Stanton, & Anthony Zerbe bring such rich Broth to the Soup that is this delightful Film that you are going to want seconds of, it is Delicious.
½ August 31, 2011
Made it in just under the wire. The shark that ate Hollywood would make films like this impossible within a year.
½ July 29, 2011
Farewell, My Lovely tries to combine 40s noir style with 70s color, nudity and profanity. This combination is a mixed bag, but I like Robert Mitchum a lot, which is what raised my rating. Mitchum's narration is quintessentially noir, almost to a fault. But then again, it's hardly a fault now is it?
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