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FAREWELL, MY LOVELY

Director: DICK RICHARDS

U.S.A. • 1975 • COLOUR • DIGITAL VIDEO • 95 MIN


The third screen version of Chandler’s famous novel, this stylish 1975 production retains the original’s 1940s setting, which is evoked though some splendid art direction in affectionate homage to the whole classic film noir/detective story tradition. Thus the casting of Robert Mitchum, who might seem rather long in the tooth to be playing Marlowe, actually makes perfect sense. As a Los Angelino who knew Chandler and loved the books, Mitchum inhabits the role as comfortably as the battered raincoat he wears throughout the movie. Another imposing presence is ex-prize fighter Jack O’Halloran, who towers over every other character as Moose Malloy, the ex-con who fell in love with a hooker named Velma (Charlotte Rampling) some years back and now hires Marlowe to track her down. Marlowe’s quest leads him through multiple homicides as he explores the lurid underbelly of Los Angeles nightlife. In marked contrast to Robert Altman’s radical treatment of The Long Goodbye, director Dick Richards takes a more traditional approach which has its own rewards. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric, even nostalgic piece which never lapses into sentimentality or parody.

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