Ever the iconoclast, Robert Altman took Raymond Chandler’s novel and updated it to ‘70s LA – neurotic, narcissistic and (thanks to Vilmos Zsigmond’s beguiling lensing) soft-edged and faded.
The woozy images reflect P.I. Philip Marlowe’s general air of discombobulation, as he stumbles through murder, suicide and blackmail.
Elliott Gould offers a flipside to Bogart, but Marlowe’s code of honour is constant. Don’t be surprised if Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming Inherent Vice is made of similar stuff.
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