Directed by Robert Altman • 1973 • United States
Starring Elliott Gould, Nina van Pallandt, Sterling Hayden
Robert Altman updates Raymond Chandler for the liberated, hedonistic 1970s in this brilliantly idiosyncratic adaptation of one of the writer’s most renowned novels. Elliott Gould brings a sardonic wit to his portrayal of private eye Philip Marlowe, who helps out his old friend Terry Lennox (Jim Bouton) late one night by driving him across the border from Los Angeles to Tijuana—only to discover once he’s back that Lennox’s wife has been murdered. As Marlowe is drawn deeper into a labyrinthine investigation involving the search for a missing novelist (Sterling Hayden), Altman exposes the darkness lurking beneath California’s sun-splashed surface.