‘FAREWELL MY LOVELY’; ROBERT MITCHUM DOES MARLOWE

Behold the trailer of the 1975 remake of Raymond Chandler’s ‘Farewell My Lovely’ starring Robert Mitchum as Phillip Marlowe. Yesterday I posted the trailer for ‘The Long Goodbye’ made two years earlier with the decidedly more eccentric casting of Elliot Gould as Marlowe. I seem to recall seeing this one a few years after its release on LA’s fabled ‘Z Channel’–the first local all-movies cable station–and, as a young purist, finding it vastly inferior to the 1944 version known as ‘Murder My Sweet’. (That one starred Dick Powell as Marlowe which–given his Warner Brothers musical appearances in the previous decade– made him an even weirder choice for Marlowe than Gould). Nonetheless this trailer makes the film look like its worth a rewatching–at least of the first twenty minutes. In Lee Server’s excellent Mitchum bio, ‘Baby I Don’t Care’, he relates the story of how director Dick Richards had the costume department rent a suit worn by Victor Mature in the 1940s for Mitchum’s Marlowe getup. Far from being charmed by the vintage Hollywood nature of it all Mitchum was incensed. ‘Every time he wanted to give me a hard time’, says Richards, ‘he’d bring up the suit. Only thing he wore throughout the film, never changes, one suit. He’d say to me, ‘You son of a bitch, you got me wearing a farted-up suit, you cheap son of a bitch! It smells bad…I’m in Victor Mature’s old farted-up suit, goddam it!’

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