It all starts with a hungry cat. In a world where dogs don’t get out of the road, women spend the whole day topless making hash brownies, and men sweep the road in their Sunday best, Detective Philip Marlowe tries to help a friend. It isn’t the one who’s just been accused of murdering his wife. Hell no. It’s the one who refuses to eat anything other than Courry. That’s right. Cat food.
The Long Goodbye is a bit weird. The distinct lack of story rumbles on forever, dialogue fades in and out more often than a BBC sexual abuse scandal, and Arnold Schwarzenegger shows up so he can strip to his pants. Again. And yet, Elliott Gould’s Philip Marlowe is effortlessly cool, and worthy of a watch no matter what mundane task he’s up to. Like buying pet food. Very few characters can justify this. In all honesty, it’s all about the cat. It’s rare that I ruin a good movie, but seriously, will he eat the bloody cat food?
Beyond that, there’s still something rather special about The Long Goodbye. The soundtrack may consist of one song sang by fifty artists, Marlowe may never like dried apricots, and the midsection is weighed down by a likeable drunk, but there’s a glass to the face, one of the best characters to ever grace the screen, and for once, he knows when it’s time to leave the… (Voice fades out) DW