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Trivia / The Long Goodbye

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The film:

  • The Danza: Several of the minor characters—Jo Ann Brody as Jo Ann (Augustine's mistress), Rutanya Alda as Rutanya (one of Marlowe's hippie neighbors), Jack Riley as Riley (the piano player), Pepe Callahan as Pepe (Augustine's bilingual thug).
  • Deleted Role: Steve McQueen had a cameo as Sam Spade that ended up on the cutting room floor.
  • Deleted Scene: There was originally a scene where Marlowe meets Sam Spade (played by Steve McQueen) in an elevator.
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  • Genre-Killer: Altman is said to have wanted this film to be this for the Hardboiled Detective kind of Film Noir. Didn't happen, though.
  • Missing Episode: The above-mentioned Sam Spade cameo is not known to survive, with the only evidence of its existence being on-set production stills.
  • Playing Against Type:
  • Screwed by the Network: United Artists botched its initial release by promoting it as a straight Detective Drama. A few months later they re-released it but the marketing implied that it was a rollicking Parody of Philip Marlowe, when it's really more like a darkly satiric Retool.
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  • Stillborn Franchise: Elliott Gould has said that so long as he is physically able he holds out hopes that he could reprise the role of Phillip Marlowe. He has a screenplay entitled It's Always Now, based on a Raymond Chandler story, The Curtain. The Chandler estate sold him the rights to the story for $1.
  • Throw It In!: It's a Robert Altman film, so there's lots of this.
    • Elliott Gould ad-libbed many of Marlowe's quips. The shot of the two amorously-engaged dogs on the street of the Mexican village obviously wasn't planned but was memorable enough to stay in the film. He also improvised the scene in police custody in which he smears fingerprint ink all over his face.
    • Gould and Sterling Hayden's dialogue during the drinking scenes was improvised because Hayden was drunk and stoned on marijuana most of the time.
  • Uncredited Role: David Carradine as Marlowe's cellmate as Dave aka Socrates.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Lee Marvin and Robert Mitchum were considered for Phillip Marlowe. Mitchum would later star in adaptations of Farewell, My Lovely and The Big Sleep.
    • The directing job was offered to both Howard Hawks (who had directed The Big Sleep and Peter Bogdanovich who both turned it down.
    • Altman originally wanted Dan Blocker (TV's Hoss Cartwright) whom he originally directed in early episodes of Bonanza to play Roger Wade. Tragically Blocker died from a post-surgery complication at the age of 44. The film is dedicated to him. John Huston was considered for Wade before Hayden was cast.
  • Written by Cast Member: Sterling Hayden wrote his own scenes.
  • During filming of M*A*S*H, Elliot Gould and Donald Sutherland approached Fox executives about removing Robert Altman from the project, but decided not to go through with it. Gould admitted to Altman that he and Sutherland almost had him removed from the filming, but Donald Sutherland never told Altman about it. Subsequently, Altman never made another movie with Donald Sutherland.


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