So far Altman's film haven't really impressed me. My expectations of The Long Goodbye were pretty dim, as it's one of his earlier films and I generally don't take well to 70s crime. But lo and behold, Altman laid-back style and Gould's fine performance made this a pretty fun flick after all.
Marlowe is a private detective who helps Terry, a friend of him, escape to Mexico. The next day the police appear on Marlowe's doorstep, as Terry's wife has killed herself. The police take him in, once it's clear that this is a suicide case Marlowe is released again. He doesn't trust the story and starts an investigation on his own.
The recurring musical theme (in different executions) is fun, the lead character is charismatic and Altman doesn't take the story too serious, which is always a plus. The plot itself is pretty basic and the film could've been a bit shorter, other than that it's one of the better USA 70s classics I've seen to date.
Altman doing ensemble drama. Some affinity with the time period and music scene are definitely a plus, because this is about as American as it gets. I didn't really appeal to me, but at least there's a wide range of characters so it never got too boring or predictable. But 160 minutes is long when you hate the music and can't find anything interesting to latch on to.
Altman is a better storyteller than most Western directors and Beatty's performance was commendable, but the dreary 70s visuals and the ill-fitting score are a pain to sit through. My quest to find something worthwhile in the western genre continues. McCabe and Mrs Miller didn't really help me forward, but at least it was different enough from the usual genre fare.