The Long Goodbye (1973)




Critic Consensus: The Long Goodbye is a cool as ice mystery that retains Robert Altman's idiosyncratic sensibilities.

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Movie Info

"It's OK with me...." Applying his deconstructive eye to the "film noir" tradition, Robert Altman updated Raymond Chandler in his 1973 version of Chandler's novel, The Long Goodbye. Smart-aleck, cat-loving private eye Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) is certain that his friend Terry Lennox (Jim Bouton) isn't a wife-killer, even after the cops throw Marlowe in jail for not cooperating with their investigation into Lennox's subsequent disappearance. Once he gets out of jail, Marlowe starts to conduct his own search when he discovers that mysterious blonde Eileen Wade (Nina Van Pallandt), who hired him to find her alcoholic novelist husband Roger (Sterling Hayden), lives on the same Malibu street as the absent Lennox and his deceased spouse. As numerous variations on the title song play in unexpected places, Marlowe encounters a shady doctor (Henry Gibson), a bottle-wielding gangster (director Mark Rydell), and a guard aping Barbara Stanwyck (among other stars), before heading to Mexico to stumble onto the truth once and for all. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi
Classics , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
United Artists

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Elliott Gould
as Philip Marlowe
Mark Rydell
as Marty
Henry Gibson
as Dr. Verringer
Jim Bouton
as Terry
David Arkin
as Harry
David Carradine
as Prisoner
Jo Ann Brody
as Jo Ann
Sybil Scotford
as Real Estate Lady
Steve Coit
as Detective Farmer
Rutanya Alda
as Rutanya Sweet
Jack Riley
as Piano Player
Ken Sansom
as Colony Guard
Jerry Jones
as Detective Green
John S. Davies
as Detective Dayton
Herb Kerns
as Herbie
Danny Goldman
as Bartender
Leslie Simms
as Olive (uncredited)
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Critic Reviews for The Long Goodbye

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (3)

Raymond Chandler's sentimental foolishness is the taking-off place for Robert Altman's heady, whirling sideshow of a movie, set in the early-seventies L.A. of the stoned sensibility.

Full Review… | April 17, 2016
New Yorker
Top Critic

It tries to be all genre and no story, and it almost works.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

[Altman] attempts the impossible and pulls it off.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

... one of those movies that always flits through my mind when someone asks me to name my favorite movies of all time. I usually don't mention it, but it's always there, on the periphery. It's at least one of my two or three favorite Altmans.

January 3, 2015
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The Long Goodbye as a whole peels back the surfaces of private-eye stories, paying special attention to their macho bluster and abused women.

Full Review… | December 15, 2014
The Dissolve

A playful de-romanticizing of the detective genre...

Full Review… | December 9, 2014

Audience Reviews for The Long Goodbye


An intricate film noir satire that has all the elements that we expect from a Raymond Chandler story, only this time the protagonist of The Big Sleep is updated to the 1970s with a shocker in the end and a delicious melancholy song that will stay in your head for a long time.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

So good, it hurts.

Kevin Cookman
Kevin Cookman

Super Reviewer

A very interesting film for film buffs. It's not fantastic, but it's a film for the sake of film. If you watch film noir, you should check it out. This movie takes the character of Phillip Marlowe, and puts him in the 70s culture. It is partly a parody, but it is also toying with what you expect for a film noir.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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