Thursday, 15 December 2016

THE LONG GOODBYE-Chandler through Altman's eyes

Warning; the following review contains adult language, juvenile attempts at humor and downright infantile content.

There's a long goodbye, and it happens every day,
When a passer-by
Invites your eye to come away.
Even as you smile a quick hello you let her go,
You let the moment fly... Too late to turn your head...
You know you've said the Long Goodbye

The Original work
Above; the original theatrical trailer
Leo the Lion (Yes, that's his name) roars his customary welcome beneath the Latin for 'Art for Art's sake.' See?, this is educational stuff we're peddling here... After the MGM symbol, the United Artists logo, accompanied by the blare of 'Hooray for Hollywood'. 

Elliott Gould is Philip Marlowe
An image of Hollywood opens the film, one of those cheap, copper pictures of Hollywood, the old bank building and the sign. Fully dressed, Philip Marlowe sleeps on his bed, his cat clambering over him and mewling to wake him. 

Groggy, Marlowe checks his watch; three a.m. and the cat's hungry. Reaching for a Camel, he lights up, swiping the match on the wall to add another line to the décor. Think somewhere between a flophouse and a yard sale in a shitty neighborhood. Shuffling through to the kitchenette Marlowe finds he's all out of cat food. Want some peanut butter?. The cat doesn't want the peanut butter, he wants his Coury Brand cat food. This is a finicky cat. Maybe some ice cream mixed with an egg?. Garnishing this mixture with some salt... et voila!, a meal fit for a Prince among cats. Chasen's themselves couldn't do better. 

The cat register's it's feelings by knocking the slop onto the floor. Jumping onto his shoulder, the hungry kitty leaps off again with a dig of the claws for good measure. Throwing on his jacket, Marlowe goes out for some cat food, looking over at his neighbors. The girls in the apartment across from his are hippies, usually topless and always partying. An old traffic sign sits on their balcony. Throwing his tie on, Marlowe mumbles to himself; going out for cat-food at this time of night, he must be out of his fuckin' mind.

One of the girls calls him over in a dreamy voice. Out of it. Stoned, the girl wants some brownie mix. She wears nothing under a see-thru shirt. Marlowe adds it to his shopping list. She tells him he's the nicest neighbor they ever had, smiling, he mutters he's gotta be; he's a private eye. It's okay with me... humming to himself, he takes the elevator down to street.

More credits now over at the exclusive Malibu Colony and the theme plays as a Ferrari 365 GTS/4 – that's the Daytona Spider to you – in yellow (It looks white, but this is due to the Cinematographer Volmos Zsigmond's attempt to emulate human vision with the post-production technique of 'Post-Flashing', exposing the negative to additional pure light, which dampens blacks and softens intense colors. Marlowe's red tie is another casualty-it has the US flag on it, but just looks red in the final film) screeches up to the guard-house. Terry Lennox is at the wheel. 

Baseball legend Jim Bouton is Terry Lennox
The guard comes out to greet him and Terry asks him to lay it on him; the guard gives him Barbara Stanwyck. He's good, sounds just like her. 

The Guard is played by Ken Samsom, a noted voice artist
Terry roars off in the Ferrari. Slightly more downmarket is Marlowe's 1948 Lincoln Continental, which pulls into the lot at the Thrifty-Mart supermarket on LaBrea. Going through the turnstile he strikes a match and lights up. (These days he'd be tackled to the floor and probably maced into the bargain, then sued by the security guard for attempted murder by cancer.) Some freak in a store uniform and enough hair for the Jackson Five tells him his car lights are on. Marlowe thanks him and heads for the cat food aisle.

Terry Lennox takes the Daytona thru a tunnel as the song plays. Two people meet as in a dream,
running for a plane, through the rain.
Marlowe's got the cookie mix. They could be lovers, 'til they die... gunning it thru traffic, Terry examines the scratches on his face.

Fingernails. Marlowe can't find the Coury Brand; they're out. The assistant tells him all this shit's the same anyway. Oh yeah, does he have a cat?. What's he need one for?-he's got a girl. Terry parks up in the Daytona, flexing his bruised knuckles. Someone's taken a hell of a beating-looks like they fought back. He covers the damage to his hands with driving gloves, drives on.

His eternal cigarette in his mouth, Marlowe slides the elevator gate shut and hands the girls their brownie mix. How much do they owe him?, nothing, put it on the bill. Shutting the cat out from the kitchenette, he goes to work, switching the cat food he bought into an empty tin of Coury Brand from the trash. Lighting another up, he lets the cat in and goes through the pantomime of opening the tin. The ungrateful little shit stalks off, without so much as touching the crap, out through the makeshift cat-flap Marlowe's installed. 

Driving like he means it, Terry Lennox screeches up in the Daytona. Marlowe's outside looking for the damn cat when Terry comes out of the elevator. Hey, Terry, I was just feeding my cat-from the looks of his face Marlow thinks Terry should feed his too; he and Sylvia going at it again?. Yeah, does he want the sordid details?-no, Marlowe's heard it all before, but proposes a quick bet. Pulling out a note, he has 'L'. Terry has 'D', with four sevens. Okay, then Marlowe has five sevens... Terry challenges, but was bluffing; he's got none, but beats Marlowe's three. Marlowe asks Terry to name the three DiMaggio brothers, which he does. After fooling around with his old pal, Marlowe offers him the couch for the night, but Terry hefts a grab bag over his shoulder and tells him there'll be a lot of people after him as a result of his lovin' wife. He needs a ride. To Tijuana. Now?. Yeah, Tijuana.

The first light of dawn paints the sky as Marlowe's old Lincoln rolls up at the border, a Spanish guitar picking out The Long Goodbye. Thanking his old friend, Terry wishes him Vaya con Dios and walks to the crossing point.

As Marlowe gets back home, the girls next door are playing some sort of game, naming cities and practising cartwheels (Topless, naturally). Bemused, he asks if they've seen his cat. One didn't know he had a cat and the other thinks he wants a hat. Two bulls appear and flash a badge. Is his name Marlowe?. No, he's Sidney Jenkins. Sidney's looking for his cat, but they want to talk inside, Dayton, the white cop shoves him around while his partner Sergeant Green (Is it African American this week?) wants to talk. Where was he last night?. With a match in his mouth, Marlowe quips 'Is this where I say "What is all this about?" And he says "Shut up, I ask the questions"? Green says; 'That's right Marlowe, so just answer the questions-where were you last night?.' Maybe he could remember if he knew why they were asking. Dayton wants to know is Marlowe is gainfully employed; he doesn't know. When the Detective asks again he tells him; Private Detective, with his own agency. He shows them his license as Dayton spots the girls next door. Green states Marlowe knows Terry Lennox. Who says he does?; Terry's address book and the yellow bomb downstairs in his garage.

Seating himself again, Marlowe tells them about his cat only eating Coury Brand and how he spent the night trying to buy some. Oddly, they don't bother to write any of this down. Dayton wants him to forget the cat, they know when Lennox left the colony, roughly what time he made it here. Now as Lennox left his car in Marlowe's garage then left it's logical to assume the two went someplace together. Faced with this modern-day Sherlock Holmes, Marlowe lights his-what is it?, tenth of the day?. Standing and shaking out his match he tells them he doesn't have to answer any questions without a specific charge. He'd appreciate them leaving. Wearily, Green asks his partner if he has any specific charges?. Pushing Marlowe hard into the Sergeant, he does now. Green's worried about his partial crown and Marlowe can't believe they're pulling this old shit. Dayton reads him his rights on the way out.

Marlowe faces the camera in the booth for his mug-shots and two and a half minutes later the cop booking him admires the result, prints him and leads him to the cells. On the way an ex-customer asks after Marlowe's cat and Marlowe after his girl; she got busted at a protest rally, so he busted the pig that busted her. A detective throws Marlowe into an interrogation room where he's watched from behind two-way glass by another, older man. 

The detective starts grilling the P.I., who's pissed at not being given anything to clean the ink off his hands with. Right from the get-go, the cop is circling Marlowe, putting it over like he's a fag for having an 'e' in the name. The guy wants to know why Marlowe's here and, smearing his face with the ink, he says he's got a big game against Notre Dame on Saturday. No, he's doing his Al Jolson impression, breaking into Swanee. Without anything specific, the asshole continues the routine, pushing buttons for no apparent cause. What's important, says the cop, is to have the right answers ready when Lieutenant Farmer gets here. On cue, the older cop appears in the room.

Farmer tells Marlowe to stay seated, takes the cigarette from his mouth. Why can't he answer a simple question?. Two reasons; one, he doesn't like the way they ask the questions and two, he doesn't know what they want to know. The Lieutenant finally gets to it; accessory after the fact for murder-Who's dead?, aiding a felon in unlawful flight-Who's dead?. Terry Lennox' Wife, that's who-and not a nice dead, adds Farmer, handing Marlowe the crime scene shots. Fanning himself, he tosses them to the floor. He doesn't believe Terry capable of that. So how long has he known Lennox?-a long time. So what was his real name?. Sweating badly, Marlowe tells him they already know it, but the Lieutenant still wants to know. Lenny Potts. He changed it, it wasn't fancy enough so he changed it. Fancy my ass!, he's a gambler, a hood, thick as thieves with Marty Augustine. What's that supposed to mean?. Farmer ignores the question and goes on; Lennox was always splitting up with his wife. He loved his Wife, insists Marlowe, tired of this. Was she cheating on him?. Are you cheating on your wife?. Riding the shot, Farmer replies maybe, but his isn't dead. He asks; was Terry cheating on her?. Is your wife cheating on you?. Farmer rides that one, too, the sweat dripping off his chin. It's like an oven in this place, which isn't an accident. How come Marlowe knows so little about his old pal?, is he just dumming up?. Last, night, what did he tell him-that he was in a spot with his gambling associates?. Marlowe sweats it out, saying nothing. Finally, the Lieutenant has had it with this guy, telling the other cop to take him out and book him. Now, Marlowe speaks; Fuck You.

David Carradine of Kung Fu fame is Socrates
Marlowe's cellmate is a thin, bearded type called Socrates who tells him about how his dog got him busted over on Lankershim. Another worn-out cop appears and tells Marlowe to get dressed. As he goes, Socrates tells the cop someday all the pigs will be in here and all the people will be free. You can bet on that... Marlowe agrees, telling him remember, he's not in here, it's just his body. The cop at the desk picks at a typewriter and tells Marlowe he's free. He was free to start with, wants to know why he spent three days in there. Spotting Farmer and his subordinate, he goes over. The Lieutenant tells him he's got no more use for him; Terry Lennox is dead. That's all he tells him, leaving Marlowe to buy a paper from the machine. A guy called Morgan is hanging round the station, tells him he won't find anything in that; he offers Marlowe a lift home. Besides, there's some back issues in his car he might find interesting.

As they drive, Marlowe reads that Terry shot himself in a place called Otatoclan, Mexico. Morgan's sorry. What for?-sorry Marlowe's dumb enough to sit in the pokey for a pal that let him down like that. The Chronicle has Marlowe's picture – must be him, he's smoking a cigarette – and a piece on his refusal to co-operate. 

He wonders aloud why Terry went to this Otatoclan place when he could have just killed himself in Tijuana. And the body?-Morgan tells him his Wife's family didn't want it, obviously, no next of kin so it's buried in Mexico. Marlowe gets the picture; case closed, all zippered up like some big bag of shit. He doesn't believe any of it; Terry wasn't at the end of his rope and he doubts he killed her or himself.

Walking into a bar, Marlowe raps on the counter, his pal Riley playing The Long Goodbye on the piano. He's after Herbie. Herbie's in the can. Is he trying for the hit parade?-no, Riley's trying to learn the goddam thing. 

Herbie thinks it'll beef up the lunch trade. Marlowe looks around; the place is empty. Herbie emerges from the shitter, proudly pointing to the sign for his new range of sandwiches. Marlowe's never heard of sandwiches; he'll have a CC and ginger. Any messages?. Herbie has a few and the phone bill too. 

Taking his drink and messages over to the piano, Marlowe fishes out the phone and dials as Riley starts singing the theme. Dialling for a Mrs. Roger Wade, Marlowe asks for a pencil. He tells her he doesn't do divorce work. Scribbling down something, he asks her if she's filed with Missing Persons. He says he can fit her in (!) and asks for the address. Malibu Colony...

Marlowe's Lincoln is stopped by a dog in the middle of the road, 'Come on Asta!, I'm honking my horn, you're supposed to get out of the way.' Eventually it pads off after another dog and he rolls up to the Malibu Colony gatehouse. The guard does Jimmy Stewart and lights up when Marlowe gets it and lets him thru. He drives down the service road. 

Unbelievable luxury serviced by foreign maids and servants. He spots the gate for 23844, marked 'Guests' and pulls up as some tennis wives walk by. The bell chimes sound the first notes of the theme. Walking through a formal garden, he knocks at a side door. A female voice calls him in and a Doberman comes down the stairs to bark at him and intimidate the shit out of him. 

The thing has the personality of a shark with a headache. A beautiful English blonde comes downstairs and calls the dog off it's dinner. Going over by the bay window she makes a call while he waits and smokes. She tosses him an apricot. Taking a bite, he puts the rest in his pocket. It didn't taste of tobacco. Calling a Mr. Lernie she claims to be Roger Wade's secretary and says he's locked in his study writing.

They say hello to each other; Eileen Wade. Philip Marlowe. When her husband goes missing like this she covers for him. Protecting his image. Has he done this before?. Oh yes-he has a drink problem. Every so often he gets to the stage he feels he needs professional help. She's already checked all the usual places. Why did she wait a week before calling someone?. 

She asks what he's implying and he pushes back her hair to reveal a nasty bruise. He doesn't want to be tactless, but that wasn't from walking into a door. Walking away, she says she fell out of bed. Right. Marlowe tells her he'll need something to work with. Breezily, Eileen says he's Roger Wade, famous writer and six foot five. Weighs two hundred twenty pounds. Face you'd never forget. Marlowe says she makes him sound like a monster. Only when he drinks. She offers Marlowe a drink, a coffee. Is this different from the other times?. It is; she shows him a scrunched-up manuscript paper she found. It rambles on and on about something, a 'Doctor V'. "Dr V, Dr V, Dr V. You must help me, Dr V." She tried the phone book-never realised there were so many 'V's. Is Wade his real name?, actually he did change it. From Harry Joe Smith.

Eileen shows Marlowe Roger's note.
She hands him a copy of 'Cry, Cry, Cry.' The jacket photo shows a bear of a man, his chest bared. This guy could come off any Whaler in any book you've ever read. Eileen asks his fee; fifty bucks a day and expenses. He doesn't need an advance. On the way out, he asks if she knew the Lennox's-they used to live up the beach. Very slightly, the way you know most people on the beach. 'Well, you put some ice on your bruise and I'll go find your husband.'

Robert Altman directs Nina van Pallandt and Elliott Gould

The Continental glides up to the Burbank Care Center, one of those quiet places where the rich go to dry out or clean up. A bird sings to it's mate in a tree. You know which kind?. Me neither. Marlowe's cigarette leads him into the reception area. Three old battle-axes in nursing whites and a small, ginger man. At the mention of Roger Wade the nurses have definitely never heard of him and the little guy pretends he isn't there. Marlowe shows them the jacket photo and there's definitely no-one looks like that here. Is Doctor Verringer here?. No, he's out of town. Phoenix. One of the old bags asks who he is; just some guy looking for Doctor Verringer. Marlowe walks out. Those ladies are a lot of help. Crazy ladies. It's okay with me...

Reading as he walks, Marlowe goes around the building past the Whoosit birds and a lot of discreet shrubbery. The diminutive red-head emerges and checks Marlowe's car for a license. It's a forty-eight, but it's not 1948. He follows as Marlowe heads round through quiet gardens. Marlowe walks, the little guy runs with the oddest little hops and steps, finally breaking into a loping run like something from an early cartoon. You can almost hear boing-boing as he goes. 

Boing! Boing! Boing!; Verrenger's run
Marlowe finds a nurse, airing her legs on a sun-lounger while her patient counts her steps around one of those cute outdoor checkers boards they used to have in hotels in the forties. He tries to question her, but gets shushed; the patient is counting. It's okay with me lady. An old boy is being walked along by his belt, the muscle with him shushing angrily when Marlowe tries to ask for Roger Wade. A nurse comes down one of the winding paths and shushes him. A mime would have a meltdown in this place.

Finally, the little shit catches up, two steps to every one Marlowe takes. Is he looking for someone?. Ah!, an amnesiac!. No, he's delivering this book. To whom?. The man who wrote it. He's not here. Marlowe asks if ginger's Doctor Verringer and right on the button, a lovely old couple sat holding hands hit their cue; Good Morning, Doctor Verringer. 'They told me you weren't here, too.' Their jailer hears Verringer ask Marlowe to leave and gets up off his ass. And what is the nature of his business here?-Well, if Roger Wade isn't here, what do you care?.

Over cheese and wine at the Wade home, Marlowe tells Eileen his suspicion that her husband is at Verringer's place. There is something she could do, come back with him. Verringer couldn't dismiss her so easily. She shakes her head, patting Hitler the Dobie. She doesn't have the guts to do that. She's got the guts to pat that fucking dog... it's not Verringer she's scared of, it's Roger. He doesn't want her to know he's there or why. Marlowe will be okay, he's fine with strangers. She offers him an apricot. To tell the truth, they give him diarrhea. Her face when she laughs is beautiful. So what does she want him to do?. She wants him to make sure her husband's all right, bring him home. If he has any trouble, she'll back him up.

Eileen Wade - But I don't think you're afraid of trouble.
Philip Marlowe - What makes you say that?
Eileen - I looked at your picture in the paper
and I liked what you did for my friend.
Marlowe - Your friend?
Eileen - Your friend. What am I talking about?
And... I like your face too.
- I feel you're someone I can trust.
Marlowe (Raising his hands in submission) - You got me, lady.

Night. The Burbank Care Center. Marlowe sneaks around – why not?, the patients are. Lucette-a ringer for Lucille Ball - dances around the grounds to be led off for her medication, Verringer supervising. Marlowe follows Verringer to a cottage where Verringer's squeezing Roger Wade for five thousand. 

Wade is even larger than his picture hinted, raising and emptying a styrofoam pitcher. Strange medicine; the doctor has him all drugged up. Marlowe listens with interest before making his appearance, listens to Wade tell his keeper the place stinks. Its the place that's sick, not the people in it. Coldly, Verringer says he'd like to go home. He would-and he'll tell him one more goddam thing; he's a man can't stand confinement. If he doesn't start pressing buttons he'll tear him ling from limb and waltz out through the goddam wall. 

With unpleasant finality, Verringer says he won't hurt anything here. This is his place. Here's here to help-why just this afternoon a man came looking for him, a detective. Marlowe's forgotten to light the cigarette hanging from his lips, he's that intrigued. The quack tries Wade's wife-does he want her knowing he's here?. Then sign the check. Marlowe's heard enough. Finally lighting up, he excuses himself and tells Mister Wade he doesn't have to sign anything. Verringer's protest dies halfway as Marlowe says he should be ashamed. He knows he could have him thrown out, but why go to any trouble?.

Looking closer at the man with his nose pressed against the screen door, Wade seems to focus for the first time in a long time. Who the hell are you?. A private investigator, sent to find him. He's supposed to bring him home, if that's where he wants to go. With a laugh of relief and a smile across his weathered features, the giant realises he's been freed. Verringer promises Wade he'll hear from him. Yeah, come round and have a drink someday...

The sound of the bell fetches an anxious Eileen Wade and Roger comes bounding up like a happy ogre, playing with Bowser the Schizophrenic Pooch, who's wearing jackboots and his iron cross in welcome. Appealing with her husband to come in quietly, Eileen might as well have hit him with a frying pan for all the good it does, he wanders round the outside of the house like a drunken Falstaff, teasing the Doberman through the window. 

She's had enough, threatening to leave if he doesn't stop the drinking. Boorishly, he tells her not to make that threat, claiming to be unwell. Spotting Marlowe, he wraps a paw round his neck and tells him to come back some time, with a friendly slap to the back of the neck that doesn't quite knock teeth loose. Going into his study, Wade locks the door on the others and rolls over into a comfortable couch. Dead to the world. 


Walking back, Eileen tells Marlowe Roger is a very sick man. He feels he's all finished as a writer, staring at the paper, nothing happens. She doesn't know what to do. He needs help. Polite as ever, Marlowe says if he feels he's suicidal, needs some Freudian analysis or Primal Scream-he needs a cigarette himself, he says, noticing his pack's empty-he's not qualified for anything like that. She's very grateful for what he's done. He will come back again?. He'd love to, but doesn't see any need. Her husband's home and he's done, what he was supposed to do. Eileen asks if Marlowe knew Terry Lennox well. Terry?, yeah, he knew him a long time. She doesn't understand how he could do something like that, kill his wife. Marlowe's face conveys either pain or doubt, then he tells her he doesn't believe Terry killed her. Didn't he confess? Write a letter?. Shaking her hand, Marlowe wishes her goodnight.

It's still dark as Marlowe takes his laundry down in the elevator, looks at the mailboxes, decides not to disturb the woman looking through her letters. She looks like Mammy Yokum. He'll pick up his bills later. Spiffy, he says as an overdressed crook appears. The Boss wants a word. Oh yeah, and who's the Boss?. Mr. Marty Augustine. Sorry, Marlowe only sees hoods by appointment. As he says it, he walks past a '71 Lincoln Continental and Marty Augustine is in back with an attractive blonde. More stooges are waiting Augustine isn't happy at the wisecrack. An intense, compact little man, he calls for one of his flunkies to open the door for him. Marty Augustine never opens doors himself. 

He asks Harry, the sharp-dresser if he thinks the crack was smart. No, Sir. Then Pepe, in Spanish. In english, Pepe doesn't think it was very smart, looking at Marlowe like he'd look at a steak. Vince also doesn't think it was a smart crack. Turning to the remaining thug, Marlowe asks 'what do you think, Mabel?' and gets a vicious dig in the kidney for his mouth. 

Mark Rydell plays Marty Augustine

Going over to the Lincoln, Marty tells Jo Ann he'll be back in a few minutes. She nods like a child. She can play the radio if she wants. Kicking the bag, Marty wants to know what's in it. Marlowe says he was on the way to the bank to make a deposit, it's his laundry. Ordering the hoods to pick Marlowe up, he tells him it's Friday night. Shabbas. He's supposed to be in Temple. His voice twisted with pain, Marlowe asks why he isn't there. Augustine snaps back; 'Because I'm talking to a smart guy like you.'

Alone, Jo Ann turns on the radio. A singer and a mournful piano playing The Long Goodbye. Amusingly, as the elevator reaches the top, a sitar picks out the same tune at the Hippy House. Looking over in disbelief at a bunch of nude girls doing yoga, Marty can't believe his eyes. Marlowe quips they're the new Rockettes, their tap shoes haven't arrived yet. Welcoming the Four Stooges to his place, Marlowe notices Marty's got a Mexican guy, an Irish guy, a Jewish guy and an Italian. Despite himself, Augustine smiles and wags his finger playfully.

So, there's this Mexican, a Jew, an Italian and an Irish guy... and they all menace Philip Marlowe in his apartment. Marty can't believe he pays money to live there, telling him to sit down, to take a look in the laundry. As the hood tips it out onto the floor, Marlowe says he doesn't take too much starch in his collar. Impatient, Augustine tells his goons to 'find it' and they start wrecking the place. Find what?. While they turn the place over, Marty boasts while Marlowe lives in this, joint, he lives in three acres in Trousdale, across from Nixon. He takes tennis lessons three times a week on his own private court. And that's why he's in perfect physical condition. Marlowe lights up and Marty wants him to punch him in the stomach, hard as he can. Ahhh, the seventies... (Every idiot was always inviting you to do this. I used to punch them in the nuts.) Suddenly into it, Marty orders everyone to stop and watch Marlowe punch him in the stomach. Marlowe assures them he isn't about to punch their meal-ticket in the stomach. Pulling up a chair, Marty sits backwards on it to explain he has a wife and three beautiful children. 

They're all in expensive camps, his kids on an island and Mrs. Augustine's trying to lose weight. Luckily Marlowe doesn't have my sense of humor and says nothing. He has chauffeurs, maids, butlers, cooks. He needs a lotta money to juice the guys he's gotta juice... and you, cheapie can't take my money. Marlowe wants to know why a cheapie like him would have anything belonging to him. Marty tells him he's famous, picture in papers, runs a Mexican taxi service. Big deal, Terry Lennox was his friend, he asked for a lift and got one.

The Gangster says Terry was a criminal, he murdered his wife. Irritably, Marlowe defends his friend, he wasn't capable of murder. Marty says killing his wife was a misdemeanor, stealing his money a felony, the penalty being capital punishment. Marlowe knew it wasn't suicide. Augustine doesn't care how he died, all he knows is he had $355,000 of his money that he was supposed to deliver to Mexico City. Knocking some binoculars from Pepe's hand he asks him in Spanish if it arrived. No, it never arrived. It was in a suitcase like this and he thinks Marlowe knows where it is. A knock at the door. It's Joanne, heard some noises, got scared. Can she have a Coke?. All sweetness and light for his favorite girl, Marty invites her to sit down, makes the introductions like they're at a soirée. Jo Ann Eggenweiler, meet Philip Marlowe. Harry goes for a Coke from the icebox, but all there is is a mouthful left in the bottle. She doesn't want it. Marty downs it; flat. Look, he says, bending to regard Jo Anne's beautiful face. Isn't that a face from a magazine cover?. Beautiful, and he loves her. He sleeps with lots of girls, but makes love to her. The single most important person in his life, next to his family. Turning, he asks Pepe if it isn't so-then turns back to smash the bottle into her face. Marlowe is appalled; even the stooges are agape at this act of unprovoked cruelty. 

Jo Ann rolls around in pain and shock, screaming terribly. Suddenly angered, Augustine wants her out of there. As the poor girl is bundled out, Marty tells Marlowe that's someone he loves, him he doesn't even like. 'You have an assignment, Cheapie-find my money.' Leaving, the hoods take the elevator, the girl sobbing heart-rendingly as Marlowe rushes down the stairs, racing the elevator to hide in an opening as the group comes out. Marty tells Harry to stay, to make sure if Marlowe comes out, he tails him. Marlowe ducks into his Lincoln as the newer model rolls past in reverse. While Harry gawps at the topless girls through Marlowe's binoculars, Marlowe himself rolls out in the old Lincoln, round the corner to start the motor.

The '71 rolls into the gateway to the Malibu Colony, honking the horn angrily to drive past the guard, to be followed a moment later by Marlowe. The guard asks if he saw that guy come thru, but Marlowe says it's okay, they're with him.

By the time the guard works that one out, he's in too. Marty and Pepe go into the Wade house, leaving the other goons and the girl outside, Marlowe's '48 rolling past to park up the road. Holding a bloody cloth to her eye, Jo Ann staggers out of the car, stumbling pitifully along the road, where she's almost wiped out by a passing car. 

Spotting this, the two goons rush over, chasing the fleeing girl. Using this break, Marlowe ducks inside the gate into the Wade house. Eavesdropping, he sees Marty in animated conversation with Eileen Wade, who is standing holding Jaws by the collar. Too far away to hear anything, he watches the two hoods leave. Eileen goes up the stairs and Marlowe lights a smoke.

Next morning and Harry sits in his car shaving with an electric razor, the remnants of a junk-food meal across the dashboard. Marlowe throws his tie over his head as the tits-out club go through their morning workout. One of the girls asks if he wants yogurt, he pretends to mishear and says he can't even touch his toes. Walking past Harry's Oldsmobile and into his Continental, Marlowe wishes the hood good morning. 

Harry has a theory the girls next door are lesbians, doing all those contortions together naked. Oh, that's just yoga, says Marlowe. He doesn't know what it is, but it's yoga. Harry wonders what they do for a living. They dip candles, says Marlowe, sell them from a shop over on Hollywood Boulevard. Handing Harry a piece of paper, he tells him it's the address where he's going. In case he loses him in traffic. Telling him he looks great, but to straighten his tie, Marlowe tells the idiot he's proud to have him following him. Grabbing all the junk from his dash to dump it in the trash, Harry realizes he threw the paper too and goes back for it.

Marlowe stops at the gatehouse, to be greeted by Cary Grant. He tells the guard there's a spiffy kid coming up behind him, he think's he's okay; he's a very big fan of Walter Brennan. Delighted, the guard prepares his best Brennan, complete with limp but the hood has no idea what's going on, especially when he says he's following that car to be told; No cars out there. Just some sagebrush
and a few covered wagons. You bring my boy Billy? Left him out there on the flatlands to die. I'm gonna get him.
The dummy roars off away from the maniac at the gatehouse. Pulling up in front of Marlowe, Harry skips out and bounds up to him bright and eager. Marlowe tells him he's not supposed to let him see he's following him. Telling him to button his clothes and be neat, sit in the car, Marlowe leaves the moron to go through to the Wade house. Just for comedy, the goon decides to jump up on the gate to watch Marlowe further, but it's unlocked and the P.I. just swings it open complete with dummy.

At the door, Marlowe knocks to be met by Roger Wade, dressed as a writer in flat cape, tweeds and walking cane. The detective hopes it's not too early; Wade has just done a six mile walk along the beach. He offers his guest a drink, but it's a little early. Marlowe tells him about his encounter with Marty Augustine. Wade knows him; a mini-fart. They go through to the kitchen-diner area and there's Singer (If he catches you, he'll have you in stitches...) barking his jaw loose. 

Nina van Pallandt in discussion with Elliot Gould on set

Wade roars back at him and then straightens up as Eileen Wade comes around the house. Wade tells her the Marlboro Man's back, but then wants to know who he's here to see, him or his wife?. He just wanted to see how he was doing, but Roger wants a word alone with Mrs. Wade so he goes out to look at the sea for a while.

Once their guest has left, Wade asks if Eileen slept well. As well as ever. Pills?. No. He asks her to get a bottle of milk from the kitchen. Milk?-is that what he really wants?. He asks her to repeat it. When she does, he knocks the top off one of those tilting bottle holders and pours a huge mugful, proposing a toast. To us... 

Laughing, he remembers they spoke about something last night, but for the life of him he can't recall what. She reminds him. If he keeps on drinking she's going to leave him. Maybe she already has, he thinks. There's a wall around her. He wants to stop playing games, until she can get into that solid gold heart of hers what he needs is understanding... til' that it might just turn out he leaves her. Plucking up her courage, she says maybe he should. That gets through. Sitting her down, he throws down his cap and apologises. She's all he has left. 

Sterling Hayden's performance as the troubled writer Roger Wade is a film-stealer

Getting up, Eileen says perhaps she's just his excuse. He takes her in his arms, tells her perhaps she's right, but when a writer can't write he might as well be impotent. 

Sadly, she says she understands what that's like too. Stepping back to hold her chin at arm's length it seems for a second he's going to slap her. Instead he roars 'Balls, baby, balls!.' Eileen's distress is written across her face as Wade bellows at her to get her friend the Marlboro Man in and ask him some questions. She protests it's not his business, but drunks can be very single minded, Wade persists;

Wade - You ask him "Marlboro,
when was the last time you made love
at the lighthouse on Point Venus in Tahiti?"
Or out on the lagoon,
that shining lagoon with the goddam surf
booming on the Barrier Reef?
Or up on Whitney that night of the blizzard
in the double mummy bag? Ask him that.
Eileen - It's none of his business!
Wade - Maybe it is. Maybe it is.

In tears, she pleads with him, but Wade is obsessed, going out to call Marlowe over from the surf. Quickly running his shaggy mane under a shower, he calls over to Eileen, calling her Contessa; here's the man she may ask her questions of, but she has her straw hat on and her dog and walks off. Wade tosses the dregs of his mug after her. Missed the son of a bitch...

Wade wants Marlowe to take off the tie, join him in an old fashioned man-to-man drinking party. That's okay with him, but he's not going to take his tie off. Wade's got champagne, beer, scotch, bourbon, aquavit, port... he's drinking aquavit, so Marlowe will drink that, too. Wade sits in the shade, leaving Marlowe in the sun. It's okay with him. The bottle's been frozen, the way the Norwegians take it. Taking a pull, Marlowe tastes caraway seeds. Wade's impressed; Marlowe's been around more than he looks. 

Regarding his visitor thoughtfully, the writer tells Marlowe in light of his profession, he's got a pretty good face. He studies faces?. 

You don't get to grow one like his without learning a lot about men's faces. What about ladies' faces?. His face hardening, Wade asks what about them and Marlowe says he doesn't know. Then why ask?. He was just wondering. Christ, you're a real dingaling, you know?. Roger tells Marlowe what he says doesn't quite make sense... and he's in a little trouble with Marty Augustine?. How much is he into him for?. 'I dunno, I never made a bet' comes the answer. He doesn't know why he's in trouble with him. Does Roger know him well?. He's a son of a bitch. He owes Wade. $50,000. Wade refills Marlowe's glass.

Marlowe is impressed; most people don't win with Marty. Does Wade know Terry Lennox?. Yeah, yeah, yeah-but he wouldn't let on that he knew him. Didn't like him much?. Christ almighty, he didn't know him. Son of a bitch killed himself, huh?. Lets drink to his going. Wade asks 'Marlboro' if he ever thinks about suicide. Marlowe doesn't believe in it-did Roger know Sylvia Lennox?. He says she was a beautiful broad, then tells Marlowe if he was his age he'd bust his ass getting into a more dignified endeavor. Marlowe strikes his match on the concrete. What, like writing?. No, Wade's not talking about himself...

The day fades into night. Marlowe takes the elevator up to his place, opening his mail on the way. There's a $5,000 bill and a note. Goodbye Phil, I'm sorry, Terry. The Long Goodbye... Can you recognise the theme?... We hear that damn song again, but it changes to a Spanish guitar version as the picture fades into Otatoclan, Mexico. An overloaded bus strains and smokes its way into town, small groups of people sat around selling trinkets to no-one and not caring much either way. Marlowe's face peeks out through the air-conditioning; the open window. No sooner has it stopped than a woman comes up offering refreshments for those staying on board. Stands offering various necessities, a tiny produce market and a bandstand seem to make up the scene as Marlowe steps out for his first bachita. A dog follows him, then thinks better of it. Two dogs hump furiously as frenetic flamenco music plays (I was pissing myself laughing at this and hope you will be too.)

In the local council building, the Chief of Police offers coffee, which Marlowe refuses as the Coroner tells him he signed the papers personally. The doctor accepts the coffee and shows Marlowe a folder with the photographs he took at the scene. 

There's Terry, complete with gunshot wound to the head. They needed to fetch ice from the hotel. For drinks?. No, for the body. Death was instantaneous. What about the gun?. The chief fields that one; registered to Terry in Los Angeles. With what might pass for a sly wink, Marlowe thanks them for their attention and hopes he's caused no inconvenience. The chief is magnanimous; he was a friend of the deceased. He pronounces it 'diseased.' A friend of the diseased, yeah.

Marlowe runs over the facts. Terry checked into the hotel, went up to his room and an hour later shot himself. The Chief agrees with that. Do they know how he got there?. No, they don't, but they do have a list of his effects. Just one bag. As they discuss this, a funeral goes past outside. Removing his cap in respect, the Chief stands and the coroner politely asks Marlowe to follow suit. You'll never guess what the band's playing.

Walking into the Wade house, Marlowe finds a party in full swing, a group of kids singing... well, you've guessed, right?. Eileen Wade is busy looking after her guests, Bowser's busy chasing Marlowe out onto the beach. 

Apologising, Eileen tells him he doesn't seem to like him very much. Visibly refreshed, Wade spots 'Marlboro' and asking if he wants a dog, calls him over. Quietly, Eileen asks Marlowe if he'll stay; Roger's getting drunk. Boorishly, Wade calls the whole party over and they answer their host's call. Belligerent, he tells Marlowe he liked him, but now he comes in with his wife?. There's a new guest; Verringer has showed up and he wants his money. Wade reminds Marlowe how they talked, how they made sense, touched each other... then he spots the Doctor and his spirits sink. Oh, no... it's Mini-Mouse, the Albino Turd himself... his huge fist around a bottle of Jack Daniels, Wade claims he can't recall the man's name. Shaking her hand coldly, the weird little man introduces himself to Eileen. Marlowe reminds Wade of the name. Verringer. Verringer. Derringer. A mini-pistol, huh?. Slopping his booze, Roger addresses the whole party, tells them this bastard is the epitome of what's wrong in this world. 

He pretends to cure people... that has him laughing, but Eileen pleads with him not to continue the pathetic scene he's making. Why is he here?. Calmly, the Doctor says they have business to discuss. Balls!. Eileen suggests they go to the study, but Roger's past suggestions now. 

Verringer insists on his $4,400 and Wade insists he won't get it. Write the check, Roger. Verringer repeats this three times, adding a stinging slap the third time. In frustration, Wade throws the bottle down, smashing it. Everyone stares silently at the great writer as he protests. He's all turned round, matching action to word. Write the check for what?, to get outta here?. Yeah, okay. Defeated, Roger taps his stick angrily into the house. Bravely, Eileen offers more drinks for the guests, but Roger throws everybody out with a bellow of rage.

Seated at his desk like a vanquished King, Roger is told to sign the check by the little maggot. Outside, Verringer apologises to Eileen, but her husband dislikes paying his bills. With hollow sincerity, he tells her in future he must refuse to accept him as a patient. Marlowe speaks up; 'Well we don't accept you as a Doctor, quack...'. They go inside, Marlowe lighting up and casually asking if the gun cabinets on the wall are locked. Certainly. Eileen tries to rouse her husband from his stupor, but he waves an arm as if to hit her. Marlowe offers a comment; Loony Tunes, Mister Wade... In a whisper, Eileen offers Marlowe something to eat.

Night and the surf breaks in a continuous low thrum. Eileen's made a delicious chicken dinner and Marlowe is still wondering how she got the butter to stay in the chicken. That's the secret, she tells him... chicken Kiev. She offers him cognac, Grand Marnier, but as she's staying with the wine he'll just have his beer out of her wine glass. It's the fanciest meal he's ever had, he saw people eat like this in a movie. She did all this herself?. Then who does the dishes?. She does. Marlowe's impressed. Is there a hotel she could check into?. Friends?. No, she did that once; Roger smashed all her possessions and she found him unconscious at the bottom of the stairs. Going into her bedroom, she asks why he doesn't call her Eileen and not Mrs. Wade. Okay, Eileen-what was Marty Augustine doing here the other night?. Her eyes are wide now. Fear, maybe. He explains he was following him. She says Roger owes Marty money, ten thousand or so. Well, he said Marty owed him. She reminds him what Verringer said about Roger not wanting to pay money. As they talk, we can see Roger Wade walking out on the beach through the window between them. Marlowe tells her he heard Terry was working for Augustine, which she refuses to believe. Did Roger ever talk about the Lennoxes?. No. Sylvia?. No. Was your husband having an affair with Sylvia Lennox?. She doesn't want to continue the conversation about her husband. Who is walking out to the sea. Could he have had another affair?. Definitely not. Then where was he the night Sylvia was murdered?.

From outside, the two are visible as they stand, talking. Finally looking out over the beach, Eileen spots the danger her husband is in as he waves his stick over the water, falling backwards into it then staggering back to his feet. In horror, the two race out to the beach, just as a massive breaker crashes over Roger. He heads past it out to his death. The two of them race the dog down to the shore. Throwing Eileen his tie, Marlowe dashes into the water after Wade as he goes under some thirty feet away. 

Its hopeless; both Marlowe and Eileen are dashed around by the powerful sea and get nowhere. As the dog barks frantically for it's master, its all Marlowe can do to save himself and the girl. Exhausted, soaked and bedraggled, Eileen sobs her heart out. Poignantly, the Dobermann recovers Wade's walking stick.

The searchlight from the boat plays over the water. A cop works a tripod-mounted version from the shore. The beach is busy, cops, neighbors. Somewhere in all this, Marlowe and Eileen stand, wrapped in blankets talking to the cops. Lieutenant Farmer shows up and walks with a uniform who fills him in on the details. Everyone has a version, telling it their way. Two divers walk along the shore, Bowser un-noticed still patrolling the surf in vain for his master. Two men from the Sheriff's Department are questioning Mrs. Wade, is this list of party guests correct, was her husband upset at Verringer's calling, that kind of thing. An irate Marlowe yells they're having a party now, everybody's drunk!. 

Lobby Card showing image from the scene
Marlowe tells the cops to stick a coupla sand-crabs up their noses, get lost, tells a girl offering a bottle to go tweeze her eyebrows. Earnestly and very clearly, he asks Eileen if she's lying, if her husband could have killed Sylvia. He's sorry for her loss, the guy was okay, a one-off, but he needs her to tell him what really happened. In distress, she says he killed Sylvia, she thinks so, doesn't know. Did you just say that you think that your husband killed Sylvia Lennox?. Eyes tightly shut, she nods. 

Note the movie lights visible on the roof of the Wade house (As opposed to the Police lights in the same scene)
It all comes out. She couldn't tell anybody, couldn't tell anybody Roger had an affair with Sylvia. And Sylvia wanted to break it off and Roger was jealous and went to see her. Then she was dead. And she read in the paper Terry confessed. She doesn't know what to do. Marlowe does.

Stephen Coit is Lieutenant Farmer
Going over to Farmer, Marlowe's a little tight, a little wired and not a little crazy. He tells him he wants the Terry Lennox case re-opened, that he's got new evidence. Hearing him out with a superior look on his cop-issue face, Farmer tells him they know Wade saw Sylvia that day, what time he went and left and that he then went to Verringer's clinic. You knew all the time? You knew all the time?. They knew all the time. The Lieutenant tells Marlowe to go back to his gumshoes and transom-peeking and leave them alone. Slurring a little, Marlowe's furious at that one. Leave them alone?, after three days?.

Marlowe - You son of a bitch. You're gonna
get everything all straightened out.
I saw that man who walked into the Pacific Ocean-
gave Dr Whatever-his-name-is $5,000
for an alibi so you could keep your job.
I'm gonna call Ronald Reagan to kick your ass off.
You're gonna be selling bus tickets, you son of a bitch.
Terry Lennox was my friend, you motherfucker!
You don't deserve to be alive, you fucking pig!

The view over downtown L.A. is measured in square feet; so many dollars, so many square feet. From the view, Marty Augustine had a lot of dollars to spend. Feet up at the window, he croons that song as he cuts his nails with scissors. 

The desk behind him is slightly smaller than his Lincoln. A pair of his goons lounge about as Marlowe is escorted in by a tree-trunk using rail-road axles for shoulders and with arms that came from carrying them around. Harry follows the gorilla into the vast, plush office. Marty is delighted to see Marlowe, who never minds visiting people when he has no choice. The gang boss thinks the boys should all sit, inviting Marlowe to stand here. He re-introduces the gang. He remembers Harry, Pepe, Jack and Vince?. He does, also how about that lady he hit with Coke bottle?, is she still walking around?. Marty wonders if that's a smart remark, but Marlowe reminds him they've already done that one.

Marty agrees, asking Vince to bring her in. Augustine feels its a problem with communication; he never hears from Marlowe. Jo Ann walks in, a bandage across her nose. Marty wants his money. Marlowe doesn't have it. Going across to the girl, Marty kisses her tenderly and asks if she remembers Philip Marlowe. Frightened for the girl, Marlowe tells him he gets the point, but the gangster is adamant he doesn't-the point is money. If you got the point you'd tell me where the money is!. Marlowe re-iterates; he doesn't know, turning to the muscle, he tells him to get up, get up, up!. Seating Jo Ann in the gorilla's chair, he tells Marlowe the night she became 'ill' and had to go to the hospital, well, she had the finest treatment, surgeons, nurses round the clock... Marlowe looks at him like he's crawled from a sewer as the psychotic mobster goes on. She's very dear to him. She's going to be fine. The eyes behind the dressings flit, terrified from one man to the other. He left the hospital that night and he was really upset, what was it?, haunted. That's it, haunted, with the idea somehow he'd been unfair to her. Pacing across the room, he snaps at Harry to sit down out of the way. And what had she done?, absolutely nothing. Stabbing an angry finger at Marlowe he tells him he was the one he was angry with, he was giving to her what he should have given to him. He knew at the moment he had to apologise in a very special way. It had to be total and honest. He stripped naked in her room, showing her a man with nothing to hide and said 'Jo Ann, I apologise.'

Marlowe asks the kook what he wants him to do?; he wants him to strip off his clothes. Marlowe takes a good look at this whacko before replying he has nothing to hide, he says, but he's not taking his clothes off. Marty wants him to do it so he can tell him the truth about his money. You wanna take your clothes off?. Marty accepts Marlowe's challenge... in fact everybody take off their clothes!. Pepe's embarrassed about all his scars, so Marty lets him off with phone duty outside. Everyone else has to disrobe for this nut, Marty telling Jo Ann to remain so she can see how honest it all is. Everyone's getting their clothes off, except Marlowe's doing it slower, playing with his cuff buttons. He tells Marlowe he hated doing this in school, because he had no pubic hair until age fifteen. Enjoying the image, the P.I. says he must have looked like one of the Three Little Pigs. At this, Jack throws Marlowe's jacket at him, the wallet falling from it. Marty interjects, explaining Marlowe's nerv... then he spots the $5,000 bill protruding from the discarded wallet. What is that?-a picture of James Madison. Augustine comments there aren't many around. You see?, get naked and things get honest.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in underpants, folks!
Marty wants to know where Marlowe got it; muscles cracks his knuckles menacingly and when Marlowe says from a client, Marty gets mad. Is Terry Lennox alive?, did he have a deal going with him?. He takes a switchblade from Jack and hands it to Harry, remarking as his father was a Mohel... he should cut him. What?. Where?. Casually, Marty answers; 'Cut it off...' It. Cut it off. Marlowe's manhood is spared as Pepe comes in with urgent news and gives it to his Boss in a whisper. Suddenly, Augustine wants everybody out and his clothes. The whole gang piles out, leaving a confused Jo Ann and a bemused Marlowe alone in the room. After a pause, he says that's a lot of entertainment for five grand. She declines his offer of a cigarette, which is okay with him...

Walking past the room where everyone's gone, Marlowe lights up. Marty wants to know where he's going. 'Well, I had a terrific time, but I'm goin' home.' Straightening out Marlowe's note, he hands it to him for his trouble. He told the truth and Marty admires that in a man. If he's in the neighborhood, drop by. Oh yeah, thanks a lot. Specially as my Fairy Godmother dropped your three hundred and fifty grand back in your lap. Indeed, there's the case, and a smiling Pepe hands Marty back his money. 


An underground car-park and a jaunty Jazz-Lounge band plays, the piano picking out the notes as a Mercedes 350SL exits onto Wilshire, Eileen Wade at the wheel... just as Marlowe's coming out of Marty's building next to the exit. 

Clearly, she dropped the bag off to Marty. Spotting her, he calls out, but she doesn't hear him and he gives chase on foot. The lights change and he sprints across the intersection after her. If she looked in the mirror once, she'd see him. 

He runs out from behind a parked car and another vehicle swerves to avoid him. At full-pelt, cigarette still between his lips, Marlowe takes to the pavement and she hits another red light. Humming the tune idly, she drives on again. Her number plate reads LOV YOU.  

The inevitable-and Marlowe goes over the hood of a Mustang. He's out for the count, but his cigarette keeps on smoking. Sirens blaring, lights flashing, the ambulance takes Marlowe to hospital. 

Director Robert Altman makes an appearance in the passenger seat

Someone screams outside, but in the room the patient lies, head to foot in bandages like an Egyptian Mummy. It's worse than we thought!; no, wait, that's not Marlowe-he's in the next bed with a head like ten bad hangovers all at once. Thinking aloud, he climbs out of bed, remembers he was hit by a car. He's got to get out of here. Nothing's broke... okay. It's daylight outside as he goes to the closet to get his clothes, pausing to tell the Mummy he'll be okay-he's seen all his pictures too... the bandaged figure is holding something up, offering it to Marlowe. A tiny mouth organ. Marlowe tells him he's got a tin ear, but takes it anyway. 

As he heads for the door, a Nurse breezes in efficiently, addresses him by name, telling him he shouldn't be out of bed. Officiously, he tells her he's not 'Mister Marlowe'-the mummy is. Cigarette back in place, he steps out, asking her to take good care of 'Marlowe'.

There's a Realtor's sign outside the Wade house and no-one's home; just some ladies packing and cataloguing everything for the thrift sale. Mrs. Tooksbury is upstairs, one tells him; she's the lady in charge. An energetic woman in glasses comes bounding up and greets Marlowe, mistaking him for a prospective buyer. She can't help him as to Mrs. Wade's whereabouts, but she tells him Surfside Realty in Santa Monica will answer any questions he has. She charges back upstairs, but Marlowe wants to know where Mrs. Wade is. She thinks Europe, but isn't allowed to tell him. He takes his leave, saying Ladies, it's okay with me...

The nipple crew are sat around their balcony, imagining they are sitting on the sand, their bodies in ecstasy. Puffing his way out of the elevator, Marlowe goes towards his place, then goes over instead. Have they seen his cat?, he's leaving town for a couple of days... he gets no answer, asks if they could look after him if he shows up. He walks off from the spaced-out neighbors, mumbling to himself 'They're not even there... it's okay with me.'

'Have you seen my cat?' (NSFW IMAGE!)
Light of heart, the flamenco guitar sparkles lyrically through the notes as the dust rises behind the bus to Otatoclan. A bored dog lying on the road rolls over at the approach of a stranger. The Chief of Police wants to show the Señor round town. Marlowe's delighted, but there's a few things he has to get straight first. He gets into the town Police car, a battered old Caddy Fleetwood, with the coroner and the Chief. This is the biggest cop car Marlowe's ever been in.  

Yes, yes, Señor, but I think I have to change it this year... the Chief tells the American they are fixing the roads and all those things, the streets.

Marlowe wants the truth, the truth, the truth about Terry Lennox. He knows, they told him a good story and the pictures were pretty good, but the truth is coming together and he's prepared to make a donation to the people of this town. Since they are the representatives of the town, he's prepared to donate President Madison.

He places the bill on the seat between them. The Chief wants to know if this is an attempt at bribery... oh no, this is charity. As they roll through the unpaved streets, they admit they faked the whole thing. Off the record. The coroner gave Terry an injection to make it appear he was dead. The head wound was nothing, harmless. Then they put him in a coffin, took the pictures. They buried a coffin full of stones. Mr. Lennox has also been most charitable. He also gave them a James Madison. He is alive and well...

Marlowe walks alone a dirt road lined with dark trees. Wearily, he reaches a Hacienda, pushing the gate open with a creak. Water pours from an opening in the walls, a well-kept if parched lawn, ancient walls and even older stonework beyond. 

He goes through to a pond, through to a space where Terry Lennox lies in a hammock. 

'How you doin', Terry?'. Getting up, Terry says if anyone was going to track him down, it would be him. He offers Marlowe a drink, but he doesn't want one. Did Marlowe geta kick out the Madison he sent?. Yeah, a big kick.

Philip Marlowe-So you murdered your wife, Terry?
Terry Lennox-I killed her, but you can't call it murder.
Wade told her about Eileen and me,
she started screaming.
She was gonna tell the cops.
She knew I was carrying money for
Augustine. She was gonna turn me in.
I hit her. I didn't try to kill her.
I hit her. I didn't mean it.
Marlowe-I saw the photographs, boy;
you bashed her face in.
Terry-She didn't give me any choice.
Marlowe-You didn't have much choice, huh?

So he used him?-That's what friends are for, Terry tells him-he was in a jam. He had a dead wife, $350,000 that didn't belong to him, he was in a jam. Goddam simple; cops have him legally dead, Marty's been paid his money, he has a woman that loves him worth more than all of them put together... what the hell!, nobody cares... 'Yeah, nobody but me' is Marlowe's reply. That's you, Marlowe, you're a born loser...

'Yeah. I even lost my cat.' Marlowe takes out the.38 from his waistband and shoots his friend dead. The corpse lands in the water and Marlowe spits on the floor, puts the gun back in his waistband and walks. Eileen Wade drives a jeep down the long, dusty avenue to the hacienda. She comes to a halt as she spots Marlowe striding along towards town, but she doesn't exist to him anymore. Taking out the little mouth organ he was given, he puts it between his lips and blows out a jaunty tune. 

Some locals walk across the road and seeing an old woman walking there, he grabs her and dances her round in a whirl. An old record plays as the crazy American walks on.

Hooray for Hollywood
That screwy, ballyhooey Hollywood
Where any office boy or young mechanic
Can be a panic
With just a good-looking pan
And any shop girl can be a top girl
If she pleases a tired businessman
Hooray for Hollywood
You may be homely
in your neighbourhood
To be an actor, see Mr Factor
He'll make your kisser look good
Go out and try your luck,
you may be Donald Duck
Hooray for Hollywood
Hooray for Hollywood

The German poster

The song The Long Goodbye features throughout the film in various guises, sometimes quite subtly. 

A scene cut from the film; Marlowe confronts Verringer in his office
Elliott Gould had been blacklisted for his erratic behavior on-set until Altman cast him as Marlowe

The idea that Marlowe is a man out of place and a throwback to a forgotten age was deliberate; Director Robert Altman referred to him as 'Rip Van Marlowe'. In an age where free love prevails, he's an old-fashioned man in an old car with morals better suited to the forties. This is actually a clever way of preserving the feel and character of the literary Marlowe as if he were transported to the seventies.
Want to visit MArlowe's place?; The High Tower Apartments are at 2178 High Tower Drive, L.A.

Marlowe's cat is Morris, the original 9Lives cat, who also starred in Shamus (1973) alongside Burt Reynolds.
Yes, that is a young Arnold Schwarzenegger; he plays one of Marty Augustine's henchmen. The sight of him in yellow skiddies is one of those sights you really can't forget. 

Italian Poster

Elliott Gould improvised the police station scene where he smears his face with ink.
The title theme turns up constantly through the film, even as the ring-tones of a door-chime.
Roger Wade's seafront home is actually Director Robert Altman's then-residence.

Japanese Poster
The 1948 Cabriolet Lincoln Continental Convertible was owned by Elliott Gould.
Rumours that Steve McQueen was to have a cameo (as Sam Spade) were apparently confirmed by a photo on the 2002 DVD release, but as we're too tight to spring for a copy, we don't have the actual photo.
Three Dobermann Pinschers played Mrs. Wade's dog, chosen for their varying temperaments.

A scene cut from the final film; yes, that is Arnold Schwarzenegger with a mustache!
David Carradine appears in a cameo as Socrates.
Marlowe's apartment is a real place; the High Tower Court, Hollywood Hills.

Publicity shot of Gould and van Pallandt
The Malibu colony guard is played by the late Ken Samson, a voice artist best known as Rabbit from the TV Series The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. 

Since we never see Marlowe at his desk, this is either from a cut scene or a publicity shot

When the dog gets in the way of Marlowe's car, he calls it 'Asta'. This is a reference to the dog owned by Nick and Nora Charles in the Dashiell Hammett 'Thin Man' stories.
Watch closely as the ambulance takes Marlowe to hospital after he's hit by the Mustang. Director Robert Altman is in the front passenger seat.

Elliott Gould in a publicity still

When Marlowe reads the back-issue in Morgan's car, read the other articles; all gibberish, cobbled together from random pieces of text. The next paper he reads is also full of random text. 

The Spanish poster
Not for the first time, I am in the debt of the marvellous site Movie Tourist, check them out at

A Japanese poster

(Above, below) Poster variants

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