I recorded Farewell My Lovely from Flix and nothing was censored, but am sure that TCM would show it the same. TCM can be "graphic" when it adds to the plot. I do agree that depicting nudity and "sexual activity" is not necessary to any movie, but it does not need to be totally obfuscated either.
I have not read the books nor do I intend to. It shouldn't be necessary to read the books to find out the real story as the author intended it. That is primarily what changed from Code to non-Code movies. Admitedly too many movies deviate way too much from the books, but that is another issue.
To answer TopBilled; way too many scenes that were improved (IMO) in the '75 version. But the biggest was the Frances Amthor role and the clear connection to prostitution.
I agree it's the best version, For clarification and ease I'll abbreviate the film titles FML = Farewell My Lovely, and MMS = Murder My Sweet
I just finished reading Chandler's "Farewell My Lovely" fairly recently and with the recent viewings of both films fresh in my mind I have to admit that they both deviate from the novel quite a bit in different areas.
Moose Malloy gets more memorable screen time in FML he becomes an almost sympathetic character in FML you end up caring for the dumb lug, less so in MMS. In the novel you barely get the character at all, which is reflected in MMS. Though you do have the very memorable "peppers ghost" introduction of Malloy (Mike Masurki) in MMS.
The character Ann Riordan is eliminated entirely from FML. The most likely reason being Mitchum's age, he's portrayed as a Marlowe in his declining years.
The whole scenario of how Marlowe finds Jessie Florian in FML is not in the book what is in the book is the hotel, and a clerk finds Florian with a City Directory.
The whole flashback sequence with the temporarily blinded Marlowe is a fabrication in MMS. But the hint of the love affair with Riordan is in the novel.
In novel there are two cops that Marlowe has to deal with Nulty, of LAPD and Randal of the Bay City Police in FML they are combined into just Nulty played by John Ireland, in MMS the main cop is Randal.
Amthor in the novel is a psychic, in FML he becomes a she and a notorious LA madam and Amthor's and Dr, Sonderborg's sequences in the novel are combined into the same house, in MMS I think he's still a psychic but the way its played out in the novel is much more elaborately detailed and memorable than what is in the film. Interestingly there is a second big bruiser in the novel a henchman of Amthor called The Indian.
In the novel there are two ships off shore one is a whorehouse ship, one is a gambling ship. In FML there is only one ship, in MMS no ship.
In the novel the final denouement between Malloy and Velma takes place in Marlowe's apartment, she puts five bullets in him and escapes. In MMS it takes place in a beach house and Malloy and Velma kill each other and Marlowe is temporarily blinded by a close gunshot. In FML it takes place in Brunette's office on the gambling ship and Malloy and Velma both die too.
In the novel Velma disappears again, becomes a brunette and is singing in a band again like what she used to do at Florian's but she is finally spotted by a cop back east who approaches her in the dressing room and confronts her, she guns him down then kills herself.