Monday, 11 February 2013

the long goodbye

What is my dream movie? The answer is:

a) it is good in some combination of the various ways I like movies.
b) when you Wikipedia it, you find a load of great new stuff, preferably relating to dead earls and massive yachts.

Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye didn't do that great when it was released, but I loved it. Elliott Gould is not a Marlowey Marlowe, in some ways, and you can see why the makers producers wanted Robert Mitchum or Lee Marvin. But he has Marlowe's essential Marloweness - he's a loser, if you want, but he walks the mean streets neither tarnished nor afraid.

Anyway, enough of that because Terry Lennox, his friend, is played by Jim Bouton. How the hell did I not know that? Jim Bouton! Who wrote Ball Four, which is probably the best book I have ever read about the experience of playing sport.

Anyway, enough of that, because the soaked old author, Roger Wade, is played by Sterling Hayden, who has graced these pages before. And who I learned, just last week, was one of the owners of a massive yacht which had once belonged to the Kaiser, and which had been in Scarborough tunny fishing during The Dazzle period, as future historians will probably know it. The link goes to a biog on a yachty site. Hayden describes himself as a 'A windjammer man, a wandering windship man, and that's what I'll be until the day I die,' and he makes tea so strong a mouse could walk on it.

Anyway, enough of that, because Hayden's wife is played by Nina, Baroness van Pallandt. Nina Moller married Frederik, Baron van Pallandt. As Nina and Frederik they sang things like Little Donkey and Sinnerman. This is from Wikipedia:

They parted in 1969 and divorced in 1975. In the early 1990s, Frederik van Pallandt settled in the Philippines. He joined a major Australian crime syndicate, providing transportation for drug trafficking and, in 1994, was shot dead.

In the early 1970s, Nina van Pallandt was romantically linked to fellow Ibiza resident Clifford Irving. In the 2006 film, The Hoax, about Irving's fake autobiography of Howard Hughes, Van Pallandt is portrayed by Julie Delpy. The film starred Richard Gere, who appeared with Nina Van Pallandt in one of his earliest films, American Gigolo. Nina now lives in Barcelona, Spain.

Wow. I mean: Irving's fake autobiography of Howard Hughes is a great enough story to tangent, but Frederik van Pallandt: he had interesting sort of life.

By the way, the poster is fantastically odd. Sample bits of speech: 'Here's our star Elliott Gould. Elliott plays Philip Marlowe, a hard-bitten, cynical private eye trying to solve an incredible mystery.' 'With so many other actors around, why did you pick me??' 'That's the mystery!'

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