Der Tod kennt keine Wiederkehr

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Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) ist überrascht, als sein Freund Terry Lennox zu später Stunde bei ihm auftaucht und ihn bittet, ihn über die Grenze nach Mexiko zu fahren. Kaum ist der Privatdetektiv von der nächtlichen Spritztour zurück, nimmt man ihn in Los Angeles in Untersuchungshaft. Angeblich hat Lennox seine Frau umgebracht, in diesem Fall hätte Marlowe Fluchthilfe geleistet. Der Detektiv glaubt das jedoch ebenso wenig, wie die Nachricht vom Selbstmord seines Freundes, die bald darauf eintrifft. Wieder auf freiem Fuß, beschließt Marlowe, der Sache nachzugehen. Zunächst allerdings beauftragt ihn die attraktive Eileen Wade nach ihrem Mann Roger zu suchen. Seitdem Roger Wade als Schriftsteller nichts mehr zustandebringt, trinkt er haltlos und verschwindet immer wieder. Marlowe spürt Wade im Sanatorium des fragwürdigen Dr. Verringer auf und macht dort auch Bekanntschaft mit dem Gangsterboss Marty Augustine, für den sein Freund Lennox gearbeitet zu haben scheint. Und auch für Eileen Wade war Lennox offenbar kein Unbekannter. (rbb Fernsehen)


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Deutsch Robert Altman präsentiert seinen originellen und modernen Blick auf den klassischen Charakter des Film-Noir, Phil Marlowe (hervorragend besetzt mit dem entspannten Elliott Gould), und die Enttäuschung über eine Welt, in der sich hinter der Illusion von Freundschaft und Vertrauen Lüge und Manipulation verbergen. All dies wird durch das ausdrücklich nihilistische Finale betont, in dem Altman den normalerweise phlegmatischen Helden zeigt, wie er an seine Grenzen stößt. Eine hervorragende Atmosphäre der 70er Jahre, interessante Besetzung der Nebenrollen und dynamische Dialoge machen für mich einen großartigen Neo-Noir aus. ()


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Englisch Elliott Gould is definitely an interesting actor, but he just wasn't right for the role of Philip Marlowe in my opinion. He and Robert Altman have given the whole mythos a pretty interesting, completely new look, but it doesn't suit Marlowe, even if the story remains hardboiled at its core. No, it's not what you expect, and no, you may not enjoy it. ()



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Englisch In his subversive adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s classic noir, Altman shifts the setting from the (seemingly) visually and purposefully black-and-white 1940s to the early 1970s, with its gaudiness, ambiguity, paranoia and self-centredness. Philip Marlowe’s iconic private detective thus becomes an anachronism navigating an environment in which he consciously does not fit. Altman’s The Long Goodbye is often praised for depicting Los Angeles as it was at the time. Despite its numerous characters from diverse backgrounds, however, this is not the equivalent of the director’s peak frescoes like Nashville or an obviously absurd self-reflective farce like Brewster McCloud. In The Long Goodbye, everything is subordinated to demolishing conventions and exposing the inappropriateness of the cinematic “reality” of Hollywood productions. Marlowe is thus not only a representative of obsolete values, but also a relatively passive and unknowing pawn in the games and interests of the characters around him. Even before we hear the final mocking chorus of the hackneyed “Hooray for Hollywood”, which definitively pulls the rug out from under any noir solemnity, Altman imbues the narrative with a number of other alienating elements, from the imitative doorman and every possible inappropriately behaving genre character to the theme song, which creeps into the film in various arrangements and in bizarre diegetic circumstances. This unconventional approach is also manifested in the brilliantly original camerawork, which basically stays in motion and, together with the set design and improvisation of individual scenes, often draws attention to itself. This results not only in imaginative and original shots, but also in the definitive breaking of classic Hollywood’s basic rule that a film should not draw attention to itself and mustn’t pull the audience out of the illusion that the film has constructed. As a singular and obstinately distinctive director, Altman ostentatiously bid farewell to the conventions of studio productions with spectacular spitefulness, and he did it in the space of a feature-length studio commission. When the viewer accepts this game, The Long Goodbye provides a lot of inconspicuously grotesque oddball meta-genre entertainment that is purely anti-viewer at its core. ()


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Englisch With Robert Altman's films, I usually don't have any problems, even though they don't hurry anywhere and require patience and an eye for detail. However, Altman's peculiar approach to Chandler's material goes beyond this experience. I have nothing against placing the story in a different time frame, I wouldn't even mind if the plot took place in the present. I wouldn't mind certain character and plot modifications either - if I didn't have the feeling that Altman thoroughly drained the novel and turned Marlowe's character upside down. The tough, cynical detective who used to spout dry remarks has become a creation similar to Woody Allen's characters - but unlike them, lacking a significantly smaller degree of irony. I don't share the enchantment with the atmosphere of the seventies, Altman uses superficial references for his modernization, and he doesn't even come close to what, let's say, Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice possesses - where the 70s don't just scream at you through women's hairstyles and outfits, but through all the contradictions of that time. The Long Goodbye is not a genre parody, but it's not a film you could believe in either. Altman's films usually don't bore me, but with The Long Goodbye, I really perceived its length unpleasantly. I don't have problems with the characters' motivations, but the way they are fulfilled is dysfunctional and untrustworthy. Overall impression: 45%. ()

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