The Long Goodbye


The Long Goodbye

Critics Consensus

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



Reviews Counted: 32

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 10,229


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 4/5

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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

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Critic Reviews for The Long Goodbye

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (4)

  • 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.

    Apr 18, 2016 | Full Review…
  • The Long Goodbye is a gloriously inspired tribute to Hollywood that never loses sight of what Los Angeles has become.

    Jan 9, 2012 | Full Review…
  • The Long Goodbye attacks film noir with three of his most cherished tools: Whimsy, spontaneity and narrative perversity.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • [Altman] attempts the impossible and pulls it off.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 5/5
  • [Leigh] Brackett's script and particularly [Elliott] Gould's performance are like a mashup of the best parts of 1930s and 40s screwball comedies and detective movies from the same era with 70s realism thrown in.

    Mar 13, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Robert Altman made a bold statement in his casting of Elliott Gould as a Jewish version of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe character in this modestly budgeted film.

    Dec 8, 2016 | Rating: A+ | Full Review…

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

Altman's Neo-Noir is a very enjoyable film. It takes Philip Marlowe and places him right in the hedonism of the 1970s. Played excellently by Elliot Gould, our wise-cracking P.I. is lost in this new surrounding. The people have changed, animals loathe him, and the simple favors he does for friends only serves to get him entangled in the affairs of nefarious people. The story isn't very intriguing, but Altman's love of Noir really shines through. If anything, it is worth seeing an aged, grizzled Sterling Hayden and a young and frighteningly robust Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Reid Volk
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

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