While returning from the grocery store to purchase cat food, private investigator Philip Marlowe is visited by a friend asking to borrow money. Next thing the police are at his door, the friend implicated in a murder and Marlowe arrested for obstruction. Soon his friend is found murdered south of the border, he is released, and a new case involving a socialite and her alcoholic writer husband will lead him to the bottom of his friend's death and dealings. Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye, written by Leigh Brackett (who helped pen The Big Sleep, another Raymond Chandler potboiler, three decades earlier) is a unique and offbeat take on the detective story featuring many asides, most welcomed or amusing, but strays too often. Gould is an appealing Marlowe and Sterling Hayden has a memorable bit as the writer.
*** out of ****