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Farewell, My Lovely1975

  • 3.9
Ex-con Moose hires private eye Phillip Marlowe to find his long-lost girlfriend, Velma, a lounge singer. The lounge owner's wife says she's dead, but Marlowe remains skeptical. Meanwhile, Marlowe also goes on a routine ransom exchange for a necklace and gets knocked out and framed for murder. He eventually finds the necklace's owner, blonde bombshell Helen Grayle but, more importantly, evidence that the two cases are connected.

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"A great entertainment and a celebration of Robert Mitchum's absolute originality." - Roger Ebert


5 members like this review

A knockout punch of hardboiled, pulp noir. The success of "Chinatown" is a definite influence here, but "Farewell My Lovely" stands on its own as a well-crafted homage to the world of Raymond Chandler. 58 year-old Robert Mitchum is perhaps the definitive Philip Marlowe, delivering Chandler's intoxicating purple prose with slow, world-weary subtlety. Mitchum's performance is a symbolic link between the classic era of film noir of the 40's and the initial stirring of neo-noir in the 70's. He wanders across dirty, sun-bleached L.A. in search for the elusive Velma, like some bruised and bloodshot specter of Jeff Bailey from "Out of the Past." The film has a crackerjack cast: Harry Dean Stanton is at his shifty best, and Charlotte Rampling channels Lauren Bacall with cool perfection. But it's Mitchum's show all the way, and he walks down Chandler's mean streets, as a man who is old and tired, but ultimately unstoppable and unbeatable.

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Member Reviews (14)

81629.small
top reviewer

A knockout punch of hardboiled, pulp noir. The success of "Chinatown" is a definite influence here, but "Farewell My Lovely" stands on its own as a well-crafted homage to the world of Raymond Chandler. 58 year-old Robert Mitchum is perhaps the definitive Philip Marlowe, delivering Chandler's intoxicating purple prose with slow, world-weary subtlety. Mitchum's performance is a symbolic link between the classic era of film noir of the 40's and the initial stirring of neo-noir in the 70's. He wanders across dirty, sun-bleached L.A. in search for the elusive Velma, like some bruised and bloodshot specter of Jeff Bailey from "Out of the Past." The film has a crackerjack cast: Harry Dean Stanton is at his shifty best, and Charlotte Rampling channels Lauren Bacall with cool perfection. But it's Mitchum's show all the way, and he walks down Chandler's mean streets, as a man who is old and tired, but ultimately unstoppable and unbeatable.

5 members like this review
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This is the second time I've watched this film. When it was first released in '75, I was excited with anticipation: I had always visualized Robert Mitchum as Phillip Marlowe when reading & rereading Chandler's stories & novels. The movie was, to me then, a real disappointment. The liberties that had been taken with the story line, the obvious influence of "Chinatown", & the fact that Mitchum just seemed to be over-the-hill, killed the film for me. It's only redemption was Charlotte Rampling, whose vicious beauty matches Jane Greer's Kathy in "Out of the Past". A few years later, I saw "Murder, My Sweet" & have watched it with pleasure many times since. My only excuse for applying a double standard was "Let Hollywood be Hollywood"--& Claire Trevor.

Well, I am ashamed at what a snobby little git I was. This film has a dark, tragic beauty to it. The point is that Marlowe is old now, he's seen one to many cases the go horribly wrong. Mitchum is in top form, as world-weary & cynical in his understated way as ever. The presence of John Ireland, another noir vet, is more than welcome. The tone is just right, for this is the true American Gothic form--doomed from start to finish. (Why did it take me 41 years to figure that out?). Cranky as he could be, I'd like to think that Chandler would appreciate this homage, tho he'd never say so, of course.

1 member likes this review
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With more laconic one liners than a weekend at the Sands with Rodney Dangerfield,great period sets, a cool jazz score,top shelf cast,the beautiful Charlotte Rampling and the tough guy Phillip Marlow (Robert Mitchum) this film delivers the goods. No cliche is left hanging out to dry as Marlow wades through a host of dead bodies to solve a mystery.

1 member likes this review

One of the best oldie private eye flicks.

1 member likes this review

Clearly Chinatown inspired, but at its best when it forgets the homage. Damn good at sustaining Chandler's hardboiled wit throughout. Very cool cameo from Chandler heir Jim Thompson.

1 member likes this review
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A PRETTY GOOD VINTAGE PHILIP MARLOWE TYPE MOVIE MANY WELL KNOWN ACTRESSES AND ACTORS TO FILL OUT THE STORYLINE PRETTY ENTERTAINING AND FAST PACED ACTION PERIODICALLY TO KEEP ONES INTEREST GOING NEVER DULL AND A FEW SURPRISES WORTH WATCHING!

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Older gendre, older leading man. Mitchum is maybe a bit too tired, but the noir sensation is there, and with added extras like racial issues. I think Chandler would have like this just fine. And there are wonderful touches, like Jack O'Halloran being a type perfect Moose Malloy.

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top reviewer

i thought it was going to be corny & dumb_but it's shot really well & really cool_Mitchum does a fantastic job_i'm with him all the way_Rampling is just so unstoppable beautiful_screen goddess_Stanton is annoying as usual but the cast is an odd pack so sure why not_some magic_not all the time but magic none the less

Great Noir!

Good movie but was hard to not thing about the original, Murder, My Sweet (1944), while watching this fresh take. I gave the 1944 film a perfect 10. Maybe if this 1975 version had been filmed in black & white it could have eked an 8 from me.

Classic faux noir fun --tough gum shoe, crooked femme fatale and an engaging plot

The performances, the art direction, a swell score by David Shire are the prime attractions. Somehow, though, the story doesn't build to any resonance larger than its specifics, unlike LA CONFIDENTIAL and CHINATOWN, which use the genre to make larger social points. But it was short and colorful and didn't lag.

Robert Mitchum, perfect in the role, and like so many other performances of the same order. A great pleasure to watch him work.

Classic '70s styling of an earlier period, now surpassed by far less gentle treatments which we consider "real," is also the star of the show.

A retro-noir. Almost a pastiche. But in an affable way. Definitely a must watch. Rampling is gorgeous. Young Stallone is beautiful.