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Become A Film Noir Expert In Ten Easy Movies
Master a genre in just a handful of films

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Become A Film Noir Expert In Ten Easy Movies | The Long Goodbye (1973)
The Long Goodbye (1973)

Director: Robert Altman
Cast: Elliott Gould, Sterling Hayden, Nina Van Pallandt, Jim Bouton
Tagline: “Nothing says goodbye like a bullet.”

Elliott Gould’s slacker take on Chandler’s iconic private eye, Philip Marlowe, is a whole different animal from the man Bogart brought to the screen 20 years before. For one thing, it’s hard to imagine Bogey trying to find the right brand of cat food for his unimpressed feline; for another, Gould’s shambling P.I. gets far little change out of a plot that plonks him fish-out-water style into a high-gloss Los Angeles. It’s an uncaring, unsharing world, where Marlowe’s old school values mark him out as a bit, well, weird. His loyalty to his friends only drags him into a cesspit of blackmail and murder - developments he greets by offering a world-weary shrug and lighting another smoke. Whatever the term ‘neo-noir’ means to you, Robert Altman helped reboot the genre and spiced it with ‘70s counterculture cool. The old-school noir trademarks are there - there’s a nasty nod to The Big Heat when a gangster’s moll is scarred, the villains are suitably amoral - but Altman turns them on their head brilliantly, crafting a UV-filled noir that's up there with Chinatown. And yes, that is a young Arnold Schwarzenegger rippling quietly in the corner.

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