Friday, October 24, 2008

One of my favorite seventies films...

... is Robert Altman's "The Long Goodbye". Basically an Altman take on forties private eye melodramas, but in the seventies with Elliot Gould as Philip Marlowe. Gould mumbles his way through a Leigh (the adaptation of "The Big Sleep" for Howard Hawks) Brackett adaptation of Raymond Chandler's book of the same name, with ALtman's trademark muddy soundtrack and use of zoom lens to pick up the action from the different areas of the frame in any given scene.

Altman's style is usually a dealmaker/breaker for most film fans. But I promise you, everyone has a favorite Altman film.

In this one, we also hear a running gag involving the theme song written by Johnny "Skylark" Mercer and Johnny "Movie Blockbuster Theme" Williams. This song, which feels like a spoof on how forties film noir would play their haunting themes ad infinitum/nauseum, is sung and played on and on and on by various singers, orchestras and even a mariachi band at one point.

The You Tube clip (with a ponderous slideshow of posters)features the version done by Jack Sheldon, who you may remember as a Jazz Trumpeter/Vocalist I revere. Or who you may remember as the voice of "Conjunction Junction".

Either way... enjoy the next few posts dedicated to a great Robert Altman film.

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