39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2006
That this film is not currently available on DVD is a dirty shame, as it is among Mitchum's best performances, certainly of his later career as a grizzled vet of the vestiges of life. The film-makers manage to effectively incorporate Mitch's advanced age into this fine adaption of Chandler's novel, giving the film a melancholy, borderline-nostalgiac feel. One can fantasize of John Huston directing Mitchum, say, twenty years earlier, but never mind: "Farewell" is a classic in its own right, benifiting from the success of Polanski's "Chinatown" and the baby boomer's appreciation of film noir and Bogart-era private-eye pictures. Excellent supporting performances abound: John Ireland (one of his best turns), Harry Dean Stanton (in a small role), Anthony Zerbe (before he became almost a cliche). Charlotte Rampling is a deliriously sexy mix of class and trash, and do not miss a couple of scenes with Mitchum and Sylvia Miles that are just perfect. Hey, that is none other than pulp-noir genius Jim Thompson in a tiny but memorable role. His one and only acting job allowed Thompson was able to get much-needed medical insurance.
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2010
Don't buy the video on demand version here--it's crappy pan and scan with heavily saturated color. I made the mistake of buying without checking the aspect ratio. iTunes has the widescreen version while we wait for the DVD/Blu-Ray to finally be released. This film deserves the full-on Criterion treatment.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2006
If you know the story it doesn't matter. The moody noir atmosphere is everything in this film. It is the type of movie that can be viewed multiple times. The acting by the veteran actors are authentic for the period. The pacing is right on target and viewing this picture is like going back in a time machine. It captures a time and place in L.A. of the early forties and the story proceeds without any pretense or glamor. They must re-release this film at all costs.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2008
Robert Mitchum, Sylvia Miles, Charlotte Rampling, Harry Dean Stanton, Jack O'Halloran, John Ireland and Sylvester Stallone,among others - what a lineup. Of the entire genre of film noir, tough guy detective films, this one is by far the best. Mitchum is at his all time best, even though he's nearly sixty in this film (a bit old to play Marlowe, in my opinion, but he carries it off with absolute aplomb). He is the quintessential tough guy gumshoe Marlowe (he floors Dick Powell's previous characterization of the role), Sylvia Miles and Charlotte Rampling turn in flawless performances, and in fact Sylvia Miles received a well-deserved Oscar nod for hers. John Ireland and Harry Dean Stanton also gave marquee performances as well. Even young Sylvester Stallone is a surprise. But another one that stands out for me personally is the absolutely perfectly cast Jack O'Halloran as Moose Malloy. He plays the uber-big lunkhead looking for his girlfriend and I find myself caring for this character, following how the character develops and wanting to see the outcome for big Moose. O' Halloran did an outstanding job, playing Moose to spot-on realism and really filled in that dimension of the film for me. This film is a winner.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
"Farewell My Lovely," based on the novel of the same name by famed hard-boiled detective author Raymond Chandler, a Californian,(Farewell, My Lovely),is set in the author's glamorous 1940's film noir Los Angeles. However, it was filmed, lavishly -- no stinting on any car or landmark -- in the Los Angeles of the 1970's, to be released in 1975. It was also filmed in color, the theory being that LA noirs may successfully be filmed in color. 1970's LA was then rather neo-noir itself, in the sour aftermath of the Manson family murders, and the Hell's Angels' murder at the Rolling Stones' Altamont concert. Quite a few neo-noirs were being filmed there and then, in color. "Farewell" is actually an English production. David Selag Goodman adapted the script, staying much closer to the novel than the original, 1944 adaptation,(Murder, My Sweet), starring Dick Powell. Jerry Bruckheimer gets a production credit on the movie; his touch might be seen in the open-handedness with which it's filmed, the well-orchestrated, swift-moving scenes of violence -- the whole movie clocks in at a quick 98 minutes-- and the all-star cast assembled for it.
The movie evokes its time: Joe DiMaggio's breathlessly followed 1941 hitting streak. And it succeeds in giving us a sense that December 7, 1941 is inevitably coming: "The day that will live in infamy," then President Roosevelt famously said. The day that began World War II, with the Japanese dawn bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, ( that's not so far from LA). The jazzy score is by David Shire. The cinematography was by John Alonzo, who had just done Chinatown (Special Collector's Edition), the year before; he gives us a real sense of the sun baked, beautiful but sinister city of its setting.
This film should be sufficient to convince anyone that Robert Mitchum was born to play Philip Marlowe. Even though it's true that, in his late 50's at the time, he was a bit old for it. Never mind, that lived-in, world weary, expressive face, with a hint of humor in the heavy-lidded eyes, and the tough old guy body language, is perfect for the role. And Chandler told interviewers he'd visualized Mitchum for the part all along. Mitchum is ably supported by the ever cool, gorgeously sultry Charlotte Rampling as the femme fatale. The cast also includes John Ireland, Sylvia Miles, Anthony Zerbe, Harry Dean Stanton, and a young Sylvester Stallone, in an important, though hardly speaking, bit part.
Things open as a down on his luck Marlowe:" All I own is a hat, a gun, and a suit," he says, is approached by a new, would-be client, giant Moose Malloy, fresh from prison after doing seven years for his girlfriend Velma (Rampling). She's cute as "lace-trimmed pants," the ex-con says, and he wants Marlowe to find her. That investigation will take Marlowe through the highlife, and lowlifes of LA. He'll end up no better off than he was, in fact, the worse for wear. But people he meets on his quest are going to end up even worse.
This is a strong, well-done movie, with an interesting, complex plot. It certainly can stand aside the earlier, black and white classic version.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2005
Please re-release this wonderful Robert Mitchum movie on DVD so that humble people such as myself can afford it minus the rip-off prices that the sellers are selling it for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2002
Director Richard Rush presented us a valentine with this incredible film, the third version made from the the 1940 Raymond Chandler novel. At least seven actors have portrayed Philip Marlowe. Robert Mitchum, played the part twice. The first time, in this film, he was nothing short of brilliant; just world-weary, battered, meloncholy, and tough enough to spark this tale into a full flame. His voice-over narrative hit perfect pitch; all gravel, too many smokes, and cheap booze. Mitchum, himself the veteran of several Noir classics, played the gumshoe as comfortable as one's favorite overcoat; a perfect fit. He shuffled lazy-lidded yet irascible and alert, as ready for a sap behind the ear, as he was to be the recipient of the sexual energy radiated off of Charlotte Rampling as Helen, the femme. She, likewise, postured perfectly in the Noir 1940's clothes and hairstyles. John Alonzo, fresh from shooting CHINATOWN, presented us with an LA bathed in just the right mix of golden light and shadow. Jerry Goldsmith delivered another spectacular score, overlapping jazz, blues, and swing, underscoring the action and dialogue masterfully. John Ireland, also a veteran of classic Noir, Anthony Zerbe, and Harry Dean Stanton gave tremendous support with their roles. There was even a couple of glimpses of Sly Stallone ( pre-ROCKY ) as a viscious punk. Some of the critics felt that this lush color film had to try too hard for that Noir feel. I disagree. This movie is a modern Noir classic, even in living color.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2001
"Farewell, my Lovely" is one of the most faithful and well made adaptions of Chandler's work. I believe it's even better than it's predessessor which is a classic in itself. The problem with murder my sweet was Dick Powell. He is not a tough guy. This point is only accentuated if you watch the TCM video in which Powell is shown in full face make-up in a musical. These images shatter his tough facade even before picture start. Mitchum, like Bogart before him is an archetypal tough hero. This is what Marlowe is as well. Mitchum captures Marlowe world weary persona perfectly, never once appearing world-beaten instead. This film is almost completely faithful to the original story, with only minor changes. Some of which actually serve yo enhance the film rather than hinder it. For example, the skinny Indian psychic who beats Marlowe in the novel is replaced by a four hundred pound madame. This is hilarious to watch. So many times directors and screenwriters succumb to the urge to update or change Chandler's work, with diasterous results. "The Long Goodbye" "Marlowe" and "Lady in the Lake" to name a few. Perhaps worst of all was the remake of "The Big Sleep" which also starred Mitchum, but amazingly he carried this film as well, both his performances are excellent. "Farewell, my lovely does an excellent job evoking the mood of classic noir. Amazingly, a lot of the mood has to do with color. This is odd because the same mood was evoked in "Murder my Sweet" and that was because of the absence of color. Don't let this film pass you by, it's the best Mitchum I have ever seen and it deserves a lot of credit for staying faithful to the source material. It's beyond improvement. Marlowe is once again done justice. That is a rare accomplishment indeed.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2005
Bob Mitchum's classic interpretation of Philip Marlowe on the decline, FAREWELL MY LOVELY, came out in 1975, and in 1999 Pioneer Video offerd an excellent but disappointingly brief DVD re-release. After 6 years (2005 as of this writing), it's time to bring it out again.
That this movie is not still readily available on DVD is a shame, since it is undoubtedly one of Mitchum's finest performances. Set in 1941 LA, the movie captures the essence and feel of the period, and Mitchum's world-weary private investigator is dead on. It's a movie worth seeing -- Film Noir lovingly interpreted.
It's also one of David Shire' most haunting film scores, drawing on blues, jazz and the '40's honkey tonks of LA's seedier period underbelly. His work is easily on a par with the likes of Jerry Goldsmith, and should have received an Oscar for this collection.
Precisely how rare a release the DVD was can be summed up in one fact: if you want one, be ready to cough up three bills($300) a copy. It's also still out there on used VHS for a ten spot, but even those are starting to get rare, and this is a movie deserving of the largest market it can get.
I never considered myself a hard-boiled dettective or Film Noir fan, but this movie made me rethink that position. And, since the stylized 2005 SIN CITY has reawakened an interest in the Film Noir genre, FAREWELL MY LOVELY and its film score are already overdue for another pressing -- alone, in a Mitchum, detective, Philip Marlowe or Film Noir collection, or paired with its earlier version, Dick Powell's MURDER MY SWEET.
Filled with first rate acting, mood and attitude, this is a movie worth fighting to see. Find it, see it, and spread the word!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2007
Phillip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler's classic noir hard-boiled private detective forever literarily associated with Los Angeles and its means streets is right at home here in his search for the inevitable `missing woman' (`dame' for the non-politically correct types) of an ex-convict who will not take no for an answer. And a `missing woman" who wants to stay missing and will not take no for an answer. There is plenty of sparse but function dialogue, physical action and a couple of plot twists, particularly around the identity of the above-mentioned `dame' that caught me off guard. Give me those background oil derricks churning out the wealth while looking for Rusty Regan in Big Sleep or the run down stucco flats in pursue of Moose's Velma in Farewell, My Lovely any day. As always with Chandler you get high literature in a plebian package. Robert Mitchum is just the right actor at that point in his career where his profile and manner match the aging world-weary P.I. who has been around the block but who still seeks justice, whatever that may be and however it can be had.