Farewell, My Lovely


1h 37m 1975
Farewell, My Lovely

Brief Synopsis

Los Angeles private detective Philip Marlowe takes on the job of finding ex-con Moose Malloy's girlfriend Velma. Once on the case, Marlowe finds himself in one dangerous situation after another as he follows a trail of lies and betrayals.

Film Details

Also Known As
Farewell My Lovely
MPAA Rating
Genre
Mystery
Thriller
Adaptation
Film Noir
Release Date
1975
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA; HMS Queen Mary, Long Beach, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 37m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Synopsis

Los Angeles private detective Philip Marlowe takes on the job of finding ex-con Moose Malloy's girlfriend Velma. Once on the case, Marlowe finds himself in one dangerous situation after another as he follows a trail of lies and betrayals.

Videos

Movie Clip

Farewell, My Lovely (1975) -- (Movie Clip) Did You Ever Catch My Act? Beginning the two-scene performance that won Sylvia Miles her second Academy Award nomination, as Raymond Chandler’s boozy former showgirl Jessie Florian, visited by Robert Mitchum as an older, wearier Philip Marlowe, in 1941 L-A, in director Dick Richards’ film from David Zelag Goodman’s screenplay, Farewell, My Lovely, 1975.
Farewell, My Lovely (1975) -- (Movie Clip) To Hell With Polite Drinking More than 40-minutes into the picture, shooting at the since-burned Max Busch house in Pasadena, Robert Mitchum narrates as Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, on a case that is, for now, unrelated to the initial investigation, introducing second-billed Charlotte Rampling as Mrs. Grayle, and the now-revered writer Jim Thompson in his only movie role as her power-broker husband, in Farewell, My Lovely, 1975.
Farewell, My Lovely (1975) -- (Movie Clip) Buy Yourself A New Suit Summoned to a plush 1941 L-A nightclub, Robert Mitchum as P-I Philip Marlowe, older than ever imagined by Raymond Chandler, consults with his neither client nor love-interest Mrs. Grayle (Charlotte Rampling) about her ancient husband (legendary writer Jim Thompson) and fixer Laird Burnette (Anthony Zerbe), later directly in Farewell, My Lovely, 1975.
Farewell, My Lovely (1975) -- (Movie Clip) Open, Tired And Growing Old Striking an odd balance here, Robert Mitchum, who could have played Philip Marlowe in the 1940’s, instead plays him in 1975, though much older than Raymond Chandler ever wrote him, in a period story set in 1941, through David Zelag Goodman’s adaptation and Dick Richards’ direction, opening Farewell, My Lovely, John Ireland and Harry Dean Stanton his cop buddies.
Farewell, My Lovely (1975) -- (Movie Clip) Ten Dollars For Elephants On a routine case collecting a straying teen (Noelle North, Lola Mason and Wally Berns her parents) in 1941 L-A, Robert Mitchum as private eye Philip Marlowe narrates and cracks wise, introducing ex-boxer Jack O’Halloran as Moose Malloy, Dick Richards directing from David Zelag Goodman’s adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s novel, in Farewell, My Lovely, 1975.

Hosted Intro

Film Details

Also Known As
Farewell My Lovely
MPAA Rating
Genre
Mystery
Thriller
Adaptation
Film Noir
Release Date
1975
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA; HMS Queen Mary, Long Beach, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 37m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Award Nominations

Best Supporting Actress

1975
Sylvia Miles

Articles

Farewell, My Lovely



The fictional world of Raymond Chandler's private eye Philip Marlowe was having a bit of a renaissance in the decade-plus after Chandler's death. Films like Marlowe (1969), The Long Goodbye (1973) and a pair of Marlowe stories starring Robert Mitchum, Farewell, My Lovely (1975) and The Big Sleep (1978), offered a contemporary take on tried and true mysteries. Producer Elliott Kastner had a great affection for noir and his dream was to adapt a Chandler novel to screen. The screen rights to Chandler's works eluded him and Kastner contented himself with working on similar stories like Harper (1966) starring Paul Newman. Finally, he got an opportunity with The Long Goodbye, the only Marlowe story that up until that point had not been adapted to screen. He presented the project to United Artists with Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe but was turned down. Kastner then sought out Elliott Gould for his star and Robert Altman as his director.

Farewell, My Lovely had been adapted twice before under different names. It first saw life as The Falcon Takes Over (1942), one of the entries in The Falcon series starring George Sanders. A couple of years later, RKO adapted the story to screen as Murder, My Sweet starring Dick Powell and directed by Edward Dmytryk. According to the AFI, "because Powell was a well-known singer who had appeared in numerous musical films, RKO feared that using the original title, Farewell, My Lovely, would confuse audiences." Kastner was able to purchase the rights to the novel from the previous owners and got the green light to make the film with Avco Embassy Pictures, a distribution company started by legendary film promoter Joseph E. Levine. At first, Kastner had Richard Burton in mind to play the famous private eye but Burton's schedule precluded him from accepting and Kastner revisited his original idea of Mitchum in the lead role.

Kastner hired Dick Richards, a photographer and director who worked extensively in the advertising business during its heyday in the 1960s. Richards worked with screenwriter David Zelag Goodman on adapting the novel in a way that stayed true to Chandler's vision but would also appeal to contemporary audiences. The recent Marlowe films were set in present day but Richards and Goodman decided to set the story in July 1941. With the recent success of period dramas like The Godfather (1972) and Chinatown (1974), it made sense to go in this direction. Richards and Goodman used Chandler's plot as a foundation but added sex and nudity for box-office appeal. According to Mitchum biographer Lee Server, characters and situations were added including a newspaper vendor friendly with Marlowe, a strung-out jazz musician in an interracial marriage and the sanitarium sequence was changed to a brothel setting.

The biggest criticism of Farewell, My Lovely is that the 57-year-old Mitchum was too old to be playing the 30-something Marlowe. But something about Mitchum's performance in the film just worked. In Gene Siskel's review of the movie, he said "the casting of Mitchum as Marlowe was inspired. Mitchum... plays Marlowe with a delicious ease. He sounds just like Marlowe should sound." Director Dick Richards saw in Mitchum not an actor who was nearing the end of his career but, as Lee Server says, "a living legend with a movie past and a cultural presence." Mitchum took great care to make Marlowe his own and he grows into the role as the story progresses. His Marlowe is tough, street-wise and cynical with a touch of vulnerability. Mitchum's own brand of self-assuredness made him a natural fit to play Marlowe.

Farewell, My Lovely was boosted by its strong supporting cast. Sylvia Miles made an impact with a mere 8 minutes of screen time playing Mrs. Florian. She was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting role at the 1976 Academy Awards but lost out to Lee Grant. Kate Murtagh expertly plays the deranged brothel madam Amthor. Charlotte Rampling, who had just come off the success of her performance in The Night Porter (1974) was styled to look like Lauren Bacall and plays the dual role of Mrs. Grayle/Velma, the film's femme fatale. Jack O'Halloran, who recently retired from boxing, plays Moose Malloy and receives an "introducing" credit in his film debut. Other former boxers in the cast include Burton Gilliam and Jimmy Archer. Building out the rest of the cast was an exercise in professional networking. Harry Dean Stanton, who plays Billy Rolfe in the film, had worked with Richards on the recent Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins (1975). John Ireland, who plays Lieutenant Nulty, was lifelong friends with Mitchum. Joe Spinell, a character actor known for playing tough guys and even serial killers, was good friends with then struggling actor Sylvester Stallone who plays Jonnie, a brothel thug. Stallone was on the precipice of great change with Rocky (1976), a film that would catapult him to stardom. He returned the favor by casting Spinell in the Rocky franchise. To pay homage to crime novels, producer Jerry Bick used his connections to secure novelist Jim Thompson, author of The Getaway and The Grifters, in the small role of Mr. Grayle. It was his sole on screen credit as an actor. Farewell My Lovely was shot on a tight budget. Originally intended for Miami, it was cheaper to keep the production in Hollywood. Production designer Dean Tavoularis took great care to recreate Los Angeles circa 1941. All the locations, both exterior and interior were authentic. Scenes were shot in Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Echo Park and on Wilshire Boulevard. Other scenes were shot in fancier locales including the stateroom on the Queen Mary and Harold Lloyd's mansion. Mitchum was related to Lloyd through marriage; his son Christopher was then married to Lloyd's niece Cindy Davis. The actors' era specific outfits came from Western Costume, including Mitchum's pin-striped suit which was originally made for Victor Mature in the late 1940s. Cinematographer John A. Alonzo, who had worked on Chinatown, avoided modern filming techniques and shot scenes in a way that stayed true to the filmmaking styles of the 1940s.

Shooting wrapped up on April 21, 1975 and Farewell, My Lovely hit theaters a few months later. It performed well at the box office, had a successful run on television and was met with mostly positive reviews. Roger Ebert gave it four stars saying "Farewell, My Lovely never steps wrong." Most of the praise went to Mitchum and Miles. A New York Times review noted "Silvia Miles plays a role that seems an overdone cliché until you realize that she is doing it with such subtlety that her lost beauty keeps flickering back"; "Robert Mitchum always takes getting to know in a role... But he settles into his part, his performance drops away and he moves through the picture with force, humor and unexpected humility."

Three years later, Kastner followed up Farewell, My Lovely with another Chandler/Marlowe adaptation. The Big Sleep was directed by Michael Winner and starred Robert Mitchum again as Marlowe. Curiously, it was decided to set the film in 1970s England rather than 1940s Los Angeles which gave Mitchum's Marlowe two distinct universes separate from each other.

By Raquel Stecher
Farewell, My Lovely

Farewell, My Lovely

The fictional world of Raymond Chandler's private eye Philip Marlowe was having a bit of a renaissance in the decade-plus after Chandler's death. Films like Marlowe (1969), The Long Goodbye (1973) and a pair of Marlowe stories starring Robert Mitchum, Farewell, My Lovely (1975) and The Big Sleep (1978), offered a contemporary take on tried and true mysteries. Producer Elliott Kastner had a great affection for noir and his dream was to adapt a Chandler novel to screen. The screen rights to Chandler's works eluded him and Kastner contented himself with working on similar stories like Harper (1966) starring Paul Newman. Finally, he got an opportunity with The Long Goodbye, the only Marlowe story that up until that point had not been adapted to screen. He presented the project to United Artists with Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe but was turned down. Kastner then sought out Elliott Gould for his star and Robert Altman as his director. Farewell, My Lovely had been adapted twice before under different names. It first saw life as The Falcon Takes Over (1942), one of the entries in The Falcon series starring George Sanders. A couple of years later, RKO adapted the story to screen as Murder, My Sweet starring Dick Powell and directed by Edward Dmytryk. According to the AFI, "because Powell was a well-known singer who had appeared in numerous musical films, RKO feared that using the original title, Farewell, My Lovely, would confuse audiences." Kastner was able to purchase the rights to the novel from the previous owners and got the green light to make the film with Avco Embassy Pictures, a distribution company started by legendary film promoter Joseph E. Levine. At first, Kastner had Richard Burton in mind to play the famous private eye but Burton's schedule precluded him from accepting and Kastner revisited his original idea of Mitchum in the lead role. Kastner hired Dick Richards, a photographer and director who worked extensively in the advertising business during its heyday in the 1960s. Richards worked with screenwriter David Zelag Goodman on adapting the novel in a way that stayed true to Chandler's vision but would also appeal to contemporary audiences. The recent Marlowe films were set in present day but Richards and Goodman decided to set the story in July 1941. With the recent success of period dramas like The Godfather (1972) and Chinatown (1974), it made sense to go in this direction. Richards and Goodman used Chandler's plot as a foundation but added sex and nudity for box-office appeal. According to Mitchum biographer Lee Server, characters and situations were added including a newspaper vendor friendly with Marlowe, a strung-out jazz musician in an interracial marriage and the sanitarium sequence was changed to a brothel setting. The biggest criticism of Farewell, My Lovely is that the 57-year-old Mitchum was too old to be playing the 30-something Marlowe. But something about Mitchum's performance in the film just worked. In Gene Siskel's review of the movie, he said "the casting of Mitchum as Marlowe was inspired. Mitchum... plays Marlowe with a delicious ease. He sounds just like Marlowe should sound." Director Dick Richards saw in Mitchum not an actor who was nearing the end of his career but, as Lee Server says, "a living legend with a movie past and a cultural presence." Mitchum took great care to make Marlowe his own and he grows into the role as the story progresses. His Marlowe is tough, street-wise and cynical with a touch of vulnerability. Mitchum's own brand of self-assuredness made him a natural fit to play Marlowe. Farewell, My Lovely was boosted by its strong supporting cast. Sylvia Miles made an impact with a mere 8 minutes of screen time playing Mrs. Florian. She was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting role at the 1976 Academy Awards but lost out to Lee Grant. Kate Murtagh expertly plays the deranged brothel madam Amthor. Charlotte Rampling, who had just come off the success of her performance in The Night Porter (1974) was styled to look like Lauren Bacall and plays the dual role of Mrs. Grayle/Velma, the film's femme fatale. Jack O'Halloran, who recently retired from boxing, plays Moose Malloy and receives an "introducing" credit in his film debut. Other former boxers in the cast include Burton Gilliam and Jimmy Archer. Building out the rest of the cast was an exercise in professional networking. Harry Dean Stanton, who plays Billy Rolfe in the film, had worked with Richards on the recent Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins (1975). John Ireland, who plays Lieutenant Nulty, was lifelong friends with Mitchum. Joe Spinell, a character actor known for playing tough guys and even serial killers, was good friends with then struggling actor Sylvester Stallone who plays Jonnie, a brothel thug. Stallone was on the precipice of great change with Rocky (1976), a film that would catapult him to stardom. He returned the favor by casting Spinell in the Rocky franchise. To pay homage to crime novels, producer Jerry Bick used his connections to secure novelist Jim Thompson, author of The Getaway and The Grifters, in the small role of Mr. Grayle. It was his sole on screen credit as an actor. Farewell My Lovely was shot on a tight budget. Originally intended for Miami, it was cheaper to keep the production in Hollywood. Production designer Dean Tavoularis took great care to recreate Los Angeles circa 1941. All the locations, both exterior and interior were authentic. Scenes were shot in Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Echo Park and on Wilshire Boulevard. Other scenes were shot in fancier locales including the stateroom on the Queen Mary and Harold Lloyd's mansion. Mitchum was related to Lloyd through marriage; his son Christopher was then married to Lloyd's niece Cindy Davis. The actors' era specific outfits came from Western Costume, including Mitchum's pin-striped suit which was originally made for Victor Mature in the late 1940s. Cinematographer John A. Alonzo, who had worked on Chinatown, avoided modern filming techniques and shot scenes in a way that stayed true to the filmmaking styles of the 1940s. Shooting wrapped up on April 21, 1975 and Farewell, My Lovely hit theaters a few months later. It performed well at the box office, had a successful run on television and was met with mostly positive reviews. Roger Ebert gave it four stars saying "Farewell, My Lovely never steps wrong." Most of the praise went to Mitchum and Miles. A New York Times review noted "Silvia Miles plays a role that seems an overdone cliché until you realize that she is doing it with such subtlety that her lost beauty keeps flickering back"; "Robert Mitchum always takes getting to know in a role... But he settles into his part, his performance drops away and he moves through the picture with force, humor and unexpected humility." Three years later, Kastner followed up Farewell, My Lovely with another Chandler/Marlowe adaptation. The Big Sleep was directed by Michael Winner and starred Robert Mitchum again as Marlowe. Curiously, it was decided to set the film in 1970s England rather than 1940s Los Angeles which gave Mitchum's Marlowe two distinct universes separate from each other. By Raquel Stecher

Quotes

She's cute, cuter than lace pants.
- Moose Malloy
She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket
- Philip Marlowe
You've been beaten up, slapped, shot full of hop untill you were as crazy as two waltzing mice, now let's see you do something really tough, like getting up.
- Phillip Marlowe
To hell with polite drinking.
- Helen Grayle

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1975

Released in United States August 20, 1975

Released in United States March 1979

Remake of "Murder My Sweet" (1944) directed by Edward Dmytryk.

Completed shooting April 21, 1975.

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1975

Released in United States August 20, 1975

Released in United States March 1979 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (The 50-Hour Mighty MovieMarathon: Mystery and Suspense) March 14-30, 1979.)