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Farewell, My Lovely

Farewell, My Lovely (1975)

August. 08,1975
| Thriller Crime Mystery

Private eye Philip Marlowe is hired by ex-con Moose Malloy to find his girlfriend, a former lounge dancer. While also investigating the murder of a client and the theft of a jade necklace, Marlowe becomes entangled with seductress Helen Grayle and discovers a web of dark secrets that are better left hidden.


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Robert Mitchum made two films for ITC in which he played the famous Raymond Chandler character, Philip Marlowe...."Farewell, My Lovely" and "The Big Sleep". "Farewell My Lovely" is by far the best of the two, as the studio took a lot of care to get the 1940s look just right. In contract, the follow-up film was set in the present day and was a big disappointment. So if you have to see one of these, DEFINITELY make it "Farewell, My Lovely".A huge, hulking man, Moose Malloy (Jack O'Halloran) has been in prison 7 years and cannot find his old girlfriend, Velma. So he demands the Marlowe take the case...of the implication is that he'll rearrange Marlowe's face. This, and the fact he can pay, result in Marlowe taking the case. However, it soon becomes pretty obvious that Vera doesn't wanna be found and soon all sorts of bad things start happening to Marlowe. Can he somehow survive all this and get to the bottom of this?The best version of this story was the 1944 film "Murder, My Sweet" with Dick Powell. However, one of the problems with the film was that the Chandler novel was heavily sanitized. After all, there was the Production Code which forbade much of what happens in the sordid story. So, in this 1970s Robert Mitchum version, you hear cursing, see Marlowe slug a 'lady' in the mouth, hear references to a character being a homosexual and you see a bit of nudity. It certainly is a tougher version of the story. However, this alone don't make it better...though the Mitchum version is quite good. He's fine in the role--world- weary, cynical and worth seeing even if he is a tad old for the part. However, I still think Dick Powell was a bit better--a bit more cynical and smart-mouthed. However, for me I love the story so much it's a no-brainer...see them both. Or, better yet, see the first version as well--"The Falcon Takes Over". While it's the farthest from the original source material, it is very good as well because Chandler's story idea was so good...it can't help but be enjoyable.


"Farewell, My Lovely" is another film version of the Raymond Chandler novel, "Murder, My Sweet," and thrusts Robert Mitchum in the role of the overly tired, beat-up but willing to take on a case private detective known as Philip Marlowe. As the film opens in 1941 Los Angeles, Marlowe has just tracked down a runaway girl, returned her to the parents, and gotten a good slug to the midsection for his troubles. Out of the shadows of a nightclub steps Moose Malloy, freshly released from prison, who tells Marlowe that he wants him to find his missing Velma. At first glance, it seems like a simple case, but it drags Mitchum, (Marlowe) through several shootings, muggings, an injection of a narcotic, and other mishaps before Marlowe can wrap up the matter of the missing showgirl, Velma. Mitchum manages to provide a great voice-over to move the film along, but it goes at a good pace on its own. The supporting cast includes John Ireland, Charlotte Rampling, Sylvia Miles, and introduces Jack O'Halloran as the Moose. Also, catch a young Sylvester Stallone in some work prior to his Rocky Balboa films. A great film noir for fans to enjoy.

rick e lapin

Saw this movie when it was released, and was delighted: It was good to see Marlowe back in period L.A., dressed properly and surrounded by the right cars after the noble (but failed) experiment two years before of the Altman/Gould "The Long Goodbye".For me, though, it hasn't worn well; and I am particularly mystified by all the claims here that this version is somehow more "authentic" than the vastly more entertaining (it was Chandler's favorite Marlowe film) "Murder, My Sweet". When you have eliminated the Anne Riordan love- interest character in favor of a newsboy; combined quietly deadly psychic Jules Amthor with Dr. Sonderborg into a loud, crude, butch-gay whorehouse madam and set Marlowe's captivity in her joint instead of a private hospital, added an entire subplot surrounding a trumpet player and his family, and deleted Detective Randall, well ... I fail to see how that is any more "true-to-Chandler" than the changes in the Dick Powell version.The film looks great, the music and period details are right, but there really isn't any "there" there: Mitchum's too old (although he always has and always will look better in a trench-coat than anyone in history), Charlotte Rampling's too willowy and silver-spoonish to have EVER been the Velma Valento of the novel; in general all the parts were better cast and acted in "Murder, My Sweet", and there is a leaden feel to a great deal of the film that Chandler certainlt didn't put there.Only John Ireland's portrayal of cop-on-the-fence Nulty really grabbed me when I revisited my VHS copy last week -- it's not the Nulty of the book (more authenticity?), but Ireland is fully engaged from start to finish while Mitchum often dozes and Rampling simpers and pouts.Do yourself a favor: First read "Farewell, My Lovely" (still a hard-boiled treat), then watch the Dick Powell and Robert Mitchum versions in any order you choose. (Extra Credit: get hold of James Garner's "Marlowe", a re- telling of Chandler's "The Little Sister" and add that to the mix ... )I think you just might find that Powell & Company are truer to the actual rhythm and tone of a novel which dances (yes, that's the right word) edgily from light-footed hilarity to angst and back again with side trips into quick, tart social commentary; good as Mitchum occasionally is in this one, he (along with Bogart in "The Big Sleep") just ain't the often-puzzled-but-always-game dancer that was and is Philip Marlowe.This version of "Farewell My Lovely" is selling nostalgia, not Chandler.

Dave from Ottawa

Everything about this movie works just as it should, and that is pretty rare in a crime thriller. The earlier version, Murder My Sweet (1945), was the first screen incarnation of Chandler's timeless hard-boiled tough guy Marlowe, but 30 years of 're-visioning' the character put him increasingly out of touch with the times and resulted in Robert Altman's unrecognizable mumbling and fumbling Marlowe in The Long Goodbye (1973). Sensibly, the producers here turned the calendar back to the 1940s. Long night scenes give it all a nice noir look and threw in lots of classic noir visuals, such as slightly high angle shots early in every scene, with pools of lamplight on the ground like dissecting lamps, which have the audience looking down on the characters like specimens. Lovely. Robert Mitchum, looking world-weary but dogged, is perfectly cast as Marlowe, and the frosty Charlotte Rampling is a perfect deep frozen noir femme in the tradition of Bacall and Lake. They both perfectly inhabit the period and reel off Chandler's famous crackling dialogue like it's their natural speech. It gets almost too stylized at times, but everything works so well for the most part that the audience doesn't mind the contrivance. Marlowe belongs in the 40s and this may be a somewhat artificial version of those days, but I liked it.