Watch Now: FAREWELL, MY LOVELY
In 1940, Raymond Chandler published Farewell, My Lovely, his only second novel to feature the iconic detective Philip Marlowe. After two 1940s film adaptations (The Falcon Takes Over and Murder, My Sweet), in 1975 the most famous adaptation came to life under the supervision of director Dick Richards. Farewell, My Lovely, a neo-noir crime thriller stacked with stars such as Robert Mitchum, Charlotte Rampling, John Ireland, Sylvia Miles and others, tells a gripping, intertwined story kickstarted when the aforementioned private eye gets hired by a bank robber Moose Malloy to find his old girlfriend Velma he lost touch with seven years ago when he went to prison. As Marlowe accepts the job, he starts his descent along a metaphorical winding staircase slippery with blood and leading mostly nowhere.
Having done The Long Goodbye two years prior, the great producer Elliot Kastner was very interested in doing another Chandler adaptation. He approached young filmmaker Dick Richards, who honed his craft in the world of TV commercials, and gave him the script, but Richards didn’t like the idea of transporting Chandler’s story into contemporary Los Angeles. He came on board as soon as they settled on a period piece. According to Mitchum, it was actually Richard Burton who was Kastner’s first choice for playing the lead, but Burton’s schedule made the producer turn to Mitchum. Luckily enough, the critics would say, as most of the reviews highlighted Mitchum’s hard-boiled performance in Marlowe’s shoes.