Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
TheCid

The Long Goodbye and Phillip Marlowe

Recommended Posts

This was my first time seeing The Long Goodbye.  I guess I'd resisted it,  somehow thinking Atman and Marlowe wouldn't mix.  Foolish me!  From the opening all too true scene with his cat until the surprise (and great!) ending, it was perfect.  Elliot Gould is such an appealing actor, I'd forgotten how good he is.  What a treat.

 

The mood and tone was so different with Garner's Marlowe, I just couldn't watch.  Another time, and not right after Gould's Marlowe.

I agree that The Long Goodbye and Marlowe could not be watched together in one sitting.  One has to be in a completely different frame of mind to appreciate each film on its own merits.  I had not seen The Long Goodbye in its entirety before either, never having been a big Altman fan.  Perhaps it's only my cross-over interest in noir films and crime fiction bolstering my opinion here, but this was the best of any Altman film I've seen.  It had coherent tethers to plot, action, and a pre-existing literary character in the form of Marlowe that made it watchable, albeit in an "It's okay by me" kind of slo-mo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1934-1953 (the former, may a year or two earlier; in the later, maybe a year or two later)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The "Golden Age of Hollywood" is so-called that because it represents a period of time when the industry was at its most powerful in terms of talent contracts and exhibition policy, while being overseen by Conservative social-engineering watchdogs who decided for everyone what was permissible as subject matter or "message" content. It also represents an industry still in its childhood, producing stagey-acted stories that were "bigger than life". That's why they don't hold up - dialogue is spoken too quickly, too loudly, too articulately perfect for belief. There's no blood, no intimacy, no cussing, no realness - and anybody who would actually speak in real life the way a Bogart or Cagney speaks in movies would've been laughed off the street and/or had their a$$es kicked with regularity. People today recognize that silly affected nonsense for what it is - phony.

 

Once movie-makers were allowed to start making movies that represented actual truths of living, then the long-stunted childhood ended.  And "The Golden Age of Hollywood" came to its very welcome end - to be replaced by The (Choose Your Element) Age of Cinema.

 

Yeah, I pretty much agree with all that, even though there are still plenty of movies from that period I still enjoy, mainly the noirs and a handful of others where the sincerity is genuine rather than stamped on with a branding iron from the Breen Ranch. 

 

Not that the period that followed wasn't often in the thrall of its own focus group-driven story lines and fantasies:  See The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde and Easy Rider for a few prime examples of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The "Golden Age of Hollywood" is so-called that because it represents a period of time when the industry was at its most powerful in terms of talent contracts and exhibition policy, while being overseen by Conservative social-engineering watchdogs who decided for everyone what was permissible as subject matter or "message" content. It also represents an industry still in its childhood, producing stagey-acted stories that were "bigger than life". That's why they don't hold up - dialogue is spoken too quickly, too loudly, too articulately perfect for belief. There's no blood, no intimacy, no cussing, no realness - and anybody who would actually speak in real life the way a Bogart or Cagney speaks in movies would've been laughed off the street and/or had their a$$es kicked with regularity. People today recognize that silly affected nonsense for what it is - phony.

 

Once movie-makers were allowed to start making movies that represented actual truths of living, then the long-stunted childhood ended. And "The Golden Age of Hollywood" came to its very welcome end - to be replaced by The (Choose Your Element) Age of Cinema.

That's why they don't hold up?

 

They don't hold up to you maybe but considering how many films from those earlier decades are considered bonafide classics & inspired many filmmakers of later generations

 

There were flaws and strengths to every era. The Studio System certainly had its flaws & died a natural death but many great movies came out of that era. You may personally not like them but that doesn't make them any less great.

 

And no I don't need blood, cussing, or excessive violence to enjoy a movie. A movie is an art form. It doesn't always need to reflect reality.

 

And also Cagney & Bogart they might not have been gangsters but they certainly would not have been laughed at and beat up.

 

Cagney grew up on the Lower east side and knew how to defend himself. He was even an amateur boxer for a time.

 

Bogart might of had a more posh child hood but from all accounts of people who knew him he wasn't a push over.

 

 

However both Cagney & Bogart were ACTORS & an only an idiot would expect them to be exactly like the characters they portrayed on the screen.

 

I am also not sure what you mean "how they talked". They talked with their natural voices. So yes that is actually how people talked.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1934-1953 (the former, may a year or two earlier; in the later, maybe a year or two later)

 

I thought now to elaborate:

 

I give it a wide berth wanting to include the movies where major stars were prominent, rather than based on quality of the movies the judgment of which can be very subjective. There some very good pre-Codes that should be included, especially 1932-34 but generally I am reluctant to include those years whole sale because talkies were in a nascent state and still developing. There were a lot of stinkers. On the other end, the "Golden Age" MUST stop before the wide-screen color extravaganzas, the studio system was on the wane and television was changing Hollywood. On the Waterfront is not Golden Age IMO. This was something new, giving us a type of realism that was not all that apparent before and was a thing to come, more realism. Perhaps a watershed moment that divides. There are movies that are precursors in the earlier era and throwbacks in the later era.  But these would be my guidelines. I seem to give it a wider berth that some, more generalized. But because so much time has passed since then, it ought be looked upon that way. Still, middle to late 50 don't seem right for me as Golden Age, it was a transitional era.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's why they don't hold up?

 

They don't hold up to you maybe but considering how many films from those earlier decades are considered bonafide classics & inspired many filmmakers of later generations

 

There were flaws and strengths to every era. The Studio System certainly had its flaws & died a natural death but many great movies came out of that era. You may personally not like them but that doesn't make them any less great.

 

And no I don't need blood, cussing, or excessive violence to enjoy a movie. A movie is an art form. It doesn't always need to reflect reality.

 

And also Cagney & Bogart they might not have been gangsters but they certainly would not have been laughed at and beat up.

 

Cagney grew up on the Lower east side and knew how to defend himself. He was even an amateur boxer for a time.

 

Bogart might of had a more posh child hood but from all accounts of people who knew him he wasn't a push over.

 

 

However both Cagney & Bogart were ACTORS & an only an idiot would expect them to be exactly like the characters they portrayed on the screen.

 

I am also not sure what you mean "how they talked". They talked with their natural voices. So yes that is actually how people talked.

 

What I take from what he said is how they talked in the movies (not how they talked personally away from movies) and what was written for them to say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoy silent films too.

 

You have to put yourself into a different frame of mind to enjoy the style of film and acting from the silent period.  If you are able to do that, then you will enjoy them too.

 

Comparing the different ages and using today's values as a yardstick is a fool's game.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What he meant (I believe) is how they talked in the movies (not how they talked personally away from movies) and what was written for them to say.

So does he mean the dialogue or their voices?

 

Most movies don't reflect how people talk in real life. And that hasn't changed from the past or today. Not exactly sure why Bogart or Cagney were signaled out except they have pretty distinct accents.

 

If we are talking about dialogue than sorry most normal people don't speak like Garner in Marlowe or Gould in Goodbye either. If that is what he meant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoy silent films too.

 

You have to put yourself into a different frame of mind to enjoy the style of film and acting from the silent period.  If you are able to do that, then you will enjoy them too.

 

Comparing the different ages and using today's values as a yardstick is a fool's game.

 

Leaving each of the following eras comfortably in their own zone, i.e., eschewing the talkie vs silent argument, the movies in the 20s were on average of better quality than the 30s. By the 20s, the silents were reaching their apogee and wonderful films abound, while the 30s talkies were the new kid on the block and still developing (although by mid to late decade good things were happening here and there.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leaving each of the following eras comfortably in their own zone, i.e., eschewing the talkie vs silent argument, the movies in the 20s were on average of better quality than the 30s. By the 20s, the silents were reaching their apogee and wonderful films abound, while the 30s talkies were the new kid on the block and still developing (although by mid to late decade good things were happening here and there.)

The silent films reached their greatest height at the end of the era but I actually think talkies succeeded A bit earlier than the mid 30's.

 

Certainly the very early talkies were stagey and were not as good in comparison to many late silent features but I think even by 1932-33 things started to improve.

 

The move industry definitely learned and developed rapidly. I do wish the silent era wasn't forced to die out though. I think we did lose an art form.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's why they don't hold up?

 

They don't hold up to you maybe

 

If they hold up for you, that's wonderful for you.

 

The number that are still relatable to me would be probably fewer than 2 percent. I grew up with them, but realized very young what nonsense most of them were. My buddies all liked John Wayne movies. Even as a child, those bored the hell out of me. Same with Gable, Flynn, Ladd and pretty much all those pretend "actors". And the happy ending, crime never pays, men have al the patience in the world for listening to long, long speeches from their oh so earnest love interests productions were never convincing to me at all. I never saw anyone in real life act or speak like people in movies. My dumb-a$$ friends might've thought it was all good, but I longed for some truth - something interesting.

 

Lon Chaney Junior, for all the low-budget shlock he was forced to be in to make his living, had more natural acting talent in him than all those carefully manufactured studio one-noted macho men put together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So does he mean the dialogue or their voices?

 

Most movies don't reflect how people talk in real life. And that hasn't changed from the past or today. Not exactly sure why Bogart or Cagney were signaled out except they have pretty distinct accents.

 

If we are talking about dialogue than sorry most normal people don't speak like Garner in Marlowe or Gould in Goodbye either. If that is what he meant.

 

I understand why Cagney was signaled out especially his 30s films.    The dialog does border on camp.   People talk way too fast,  too animated, too many wisecracks and way over the top.    NOW I really enjoy many of those films  e.g. Footlight Parade, Taxi,  etc..  as well as the overall Warner Bros.  style at the time,  but it clearly wasn't based on realism as compared to films made after the end of the production code era.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand why Cagney was signaled out especially his 30s films. The dialog does border on camp. People talk way too fast, too animated, too many wisecracks and way over the top. NOW I really enjoy many of those films e.g. Footlight Parade, Taxi, etc.. as well as the overall Warner Bros. style at the time, but it clearly wasn't based on realism as compared to films made after the end of the production code era.

And personally I don't see much actual realism in the "New Hollywood" films either. Granted they are more gritty, dark, and violent. Although this is stereotyping them too.

 

I love a lot of New Hollywood films: Bonnie & Clyde, Taxi Driver, Network to name a few are some of my favorites but when I watch them I don't enjoy them for how realistic they are. They are a movie, not a documentary.

 

As for Cagney and WB's quick witted dialog. Again no one says people talk like that but it gave those movies their own sense of style. Again why does a movie have to reflect real life? Sure a movie can reflect reality in some ways but it can also be abstract in other ways. So no people don't talk like they do in a WB gangster movie but I don't understand why they need to? Beyond personal preferences.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To defining the "Golden Era"--my timeline goes from 1927, when silent film was just hitting it's heights, to 1965, when Joseph Breen officially allowed swearing on the screen in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"--with the DeHavilland decision by the Supreme Court in 1948 (already referred to by AndyM108 earlier in this thread) as the beginning of the end of the studio system--the MPAA system of ratings came in 1968, & for me, that's the official end of the Golden Era--lots of years & room for subtypes of Film Golden Eras in there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And personally I don't see much actual realism in the "New Hollywood" films either.

 

At least people talk like real people rather than cartoon caricatures or memorized stage soliloquists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least people talk like real people rather than cartoon caricatures or memorized stage soliloquists.

No not really

 

But what exactly is your purpose in putting down films from the studio era on a board where a large population enjoys those films? It seems pretty pointless to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And personally I don't see much actual realism in the "New Hollywood" films either. Granted they are more gritty, dark, and violent. Although this is stereotyping them too.

 

I love a lot of New Hollywood films: Bonnie & Clyde, Taxi Driver, Network to name a few are some of my favorites but when I watch them I don't enjoy them for how realistic they are. They are a movie, not a documentary.

 

As for Cagney and WB's quick witted dialog. Again no one says people talk like that but it gave those movies their own sense of style. Again why does a movie have to reflect real life? Sure a movie can reflect reality in some ways but it can also be abstract in other ways. So no people don't talk like they do in a WB gangster movie but I don't understand why they need to? Beyond personal preferences.

 

I'm not one that says movies have to reflect real life or how people really act or talk in real life.  I was just pointing out that movies made during what some call the golden age and especially the production code era of the 30s (pre-code talkies were more 'real' as it relate to content),   were generally less realistic than movies released after the end of the production code and that I understand why these 'less than real' movies could be viewed as silly \ camp \ less artistic than movies made after the code ended.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The "Golden Age of Hollywood" is so-called that because it represents a period of time when the industry was at its most powerful in terms of talent contracts and exhibition policy, while being overseen by Conservative social-engineering watchdogs who decided for everyone what was permissible as subject matter or "message" content. It also represents an industry still in its childhood, producing stagey-acted stories that were "bigger than life". That's why they don't hold up - dialogue is spoken too quickly, too loudly, too articulately perfect for belief. There's no blood, no intimacy, no cussing, no realness - and anybody who would actually speak in real life the way a Bogart or Cagney speaks in movies would've been laughed off the street and/or had their a$$es kicked with regularity. People today recognize that silly affected nonsense for what it is - phony.

 

 

 

 

Are we actually seeing the same movies? First off everything you said about the Conservative social-engineering watchdogs for back then could be said as being the opposite today with Liberal social-engineering. Hollywood today drips with that, and went from one extreme to the other.

 

BTW Bogart and Cagney would not have their a$$es kicked today with regularity for how they speak because that would be a hate crime, lol. We also have new anti-bully laws to protect that, so no worries according to the politicians.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not one that says movies have to reflect real life or how people really act or talk in real life. I was just pointing out that movies made during what some call the golden age and especially the production code era of the 30s (pre-code talkies were more 'real' as it relate to content), were generally less realistic than movies released after the end of the production code and that I understand why these 'less than real' movies could be viewed as silly \ camp \ less artistic than movies made after the code ended.

Silly, Campy, less artistic are just opinions and pretty meaningless in comparing the types of film.

 

 

As for the code I don't think it was a good thing and at times movies were affected negatively because of the code. But it doesn't mean it ruined all films in that era because many great directors/screenwriters could still make great films within the confines of the code. Billy Wilder is a perfect example. No people do not talk like MacMurray & Stanwyck in Double Indemnity but the dialog is tons of fun and made up on great innuendo that is all the better to me because they can't outright say what they mean.

 

So while one extreme may be the code. There is another extreme of excessive violence, blood, cussing in movies "just because we can". I can say these type of movies can be campy and unrealistic in their own way too.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No one today talks like they did in Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet but I wouldn't write them off as good entertainment.

I reiterate, that to enjoy entertainment from a different age you have to look at it with an attitude that does not compare it with the traditions of today.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Silly, Campy, less artistic are just opinions and pretty meaningless in comparing the types of film.

 

 

As for the code I don't think it was a good thing and at times movies were affected negatively because of the code. But it doesn't mean it ruined all films in that era because many great directors/screenwriters could still make great films within the confines of the code. Billy Wilder is a perfect example. No people do not talk like MacMurray & Stanwyck in Double Indemnity but the dialog is tons of fun and made up on great innuendo that is all the better to me because they can't outright say what they mean.

 

So while one extreme may be the code. There is another extreme of excessive violence, blood, cussing in movies "just because we can". I can say these type of movies can be campy and unrealistic in their own way too.

 

No those statements are not just opinions.   They represent how many of the 30s 'programmers' were.    I said I like these silly, campy, less artistic films.   In fact I love many of them.   My favorite actresses are Bette Davis,  Jean Arthur,  Barbara Stanwyck etc..    

 

 But I can see what is there to see because I don't have a need to defend that style of filmmaking.  Also no one even implied it ruined ALL the films in that era.   To me that gross overstatement shows an unwillingness to see what is there to see.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No those statements are not just opinions. They represent how many of the 30s 'programmers' were. I said I like these silly, campy, less artistic films. In fact I love many of them. My favorite actresses are Bette Davis, Jean Arthur, Barbara Stanwyck etc..

Yes calling them silly, campy and especially less artistic are absolutely JUST your opinion. It doesn't matter if you are a fan. That doesn't make it less of an opinion.

 

In my opinion the films were not any less artistic than the New Hollywood films or modern films. In fact in many ways I think they are more artistic. And I don't see anything campy about the style of acting back then. If you do you well you do.

 

Also no one even implied it ruined ALL the films in that era. To me that gross overstatement shows an unwillingness to see what is there to see.

And what exactly is there to see? Your the one who seems to be missing MY point. I was not arguing for the code. I never said the code was a good thing or it didn't negatively affect films in certain ways back then. I was just saying that despite the code I still see it as a successful era with many great films made by talented creative people who could work beyond the hindrance of the code.

 

 

If it was an overstatement to illustrate a point. I didn't accuse anyone of saying anything. In fact If anything I am not trying to generalize as my ultimate point is there were good and bad films and strengths and weaknesses to every era.

 

 

Note: If you used stylised instead of campy I see that as less of an opinion. But stylised does not have to mean campy or silly.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But what exactly is your purpose in putting down films from the studio era on a board where a large population enjoys those films? It seems pretty pointless to me.

 

My purpose is to express what I think and how I feel about movies. What's yours? Do you have a fundamental need for everyone to share the same reaction to them as you?

 

So I don't think very many studio-era movies hold up very well. So what? Is your insistence that they do any less - as you put it, pointless - than my opinion that they don't?

 

Please learn how to take disagreement without questioning another member's motives. We're all equally free to post our thoughts here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In time I think the real Golden Age for American Films will be the Post Code pre PC era, whatever those parameters work out to be.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My purpose is to express what I think and how I feel about movies. What's yours? Do you have a fundamental need for everyone to share the same reaction to them as you?

 

So I don't think very many studio-era movies hold up very well. So what? Is your insistence that they do any less - as you put it, pointless - than my opinion that they don't?

 

Please learn how to take disagreement without questioning another member's motives. We're all equally free to post our thoughts here.

But this wasn't initially a thread about the studio system vs New Hollywood or modern films. It was a post about the Long Goodbye. Some people loved the film, some didn't. So this is why I questioned why you would randomly dismiss older films on a board where a lot of people are a fan of them.

 

And you are right you have every right to post anything you want. I am not trying to censor your thoughts. And I am sorry if I implied otherwise. But I also have a right to question & disagree with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
×
×
  • Create New...