Had he been cast 30 years earlier, Robert Mitchum could have been the definitive Philip Marlowe.
Even at 58 he’s pretty damn good, bringing a weary integrity to Raymond Chandler’s beleaguered PI.
Dick Richards’ lovingly recreates 40s LA in deep saturated colour, and a crack cast – Charlotte Rampling, Sylvia Miles, Harry Dean Stanton – give sterling support.
David Shire’s jazz-rich score creates a suitably sleazy atmosphere, and the plot is as twisty as a barrel of pretzels.
Look out for a pre-Rocky Stallone.