Spotted by the eagle-eyed Erik Loomis, the Hollywood Hills apartment occupied by Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) in Robert Altman’s great 1973 film “The Long Goodbye” is for rent.
According to the post on Craigslist, the price for the one-bedroom, one-bath unit, reachable by private elevator, is $2,800 a month. The listing says the unit was also featured in Kenneth Branagh’s film “Dead Again,” and at other times housed magician David Copperfield and writer Michael Connelly. More photos are here. No word if the candle-dipping “crazy ladies” who danced naked in “The Long Goodbye” are still neighbors.
A deep fondness for the apartment is certainly shared by fans of the Altman film, one of his very best. Based on a Raymond Chandler novel, “The Long Goodbye” features a distinctly ‘30s Philip Marlowe as a fish out of water in the modern world. It’s brimming with great, offhand comic touches characteristic of top-flight Altman.
There’s the way the sinuous theme song gets replayed in a dozen different genres--supermarket muzak, piano bar noodling, soulful sax, pop radio. There’s stunt casting such as baseball star Jim Bouton as a sleaze and Nina van Pallandt, then notorious as a figure in a celebrated literary hoax, as a femme fatale.
There’s an abrupt, horrific act of violence committed by Mark Rydell’s thuggish Marty Augustine on his innocent girlfriend, followed by his sinister threat to Marlowe: “Now that’s someone I love; and you I don’t even like.” Even a cameo by an uncredited Arnold Schwarzenegger. Above all there’s Gould, appearing in almost every scene at a time when he was near the peak of his popularity.
Altman’s career is one of the glories of American cinema. My personal belief is that there’s nothing worse than a bad Robert Altman film, of which there are more than a few (I actually walked out on the execrable “Ready to Wear”); but there are few movie experiences better than good Altman. Just think of “MASH,” “The Long Goodbye,” “California Split” and “The Player,” among others. Aficionados may also want to take a look at the excellent documentary “Altman,” released this year and available on Netflix.