THE LONG GOODBYE
Robert Altman updates Raymond Chandler in a way that only Altman could, with Elliott Gould giving a laid-back, cool-cat turn as iconic private eye Philip Marlowe, navigating the mean streets (or at least the narcissistic streets) of a groovy 1970s Los Angeles. When Marlowe’s close friend Terry Lennox goes AWOL, the P.I. begins a twisty investigation that links up with an alcoholic, Hemingway-esque writer with a death wish (Sterling Hayden, giving a belligerent, moving performance). Despite the offbeat tone and Altman’s signature overlapping dialogue, none of the wistful power of Chandler’s novel is lost — if anything, Altman’s brilliant ability to capture the private struggles of the lonely and disappointed is the perfect match. – Beth Hanna
Celebrated American filmmaker Robert Altman (1925-2006) began his career in television in the early 1950s before achieving success in film with 1970's M*A*S*H. He landed another major triumph with 1975's panoramic American satire NASHVILLE and continued directing until 2006, when his last film, A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION, was released just months before his death at the age of 81.