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Farewell, My Lovely
Director: Dick Richards (Dir)
Release Date:   Aug 1975
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 13 Aug 1975; Los Angeles opening: 20 Aug 1975
Production Date:   18 Feb--early Jun 1975
Duration (in mins):   97
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Cast:   Robert Mitchum ([Philip] Marlowe)  
    Charlotte Rampling (Mrs. [Helen] Grayle/Velma [Valento])  
    John Ireland ([Lt.] Nulty)  
    Sylvia Miles (Mrs. [Jessie] Florian)  
    Anthony Zerbe ([Laird] Brunette)  
    Harry Dean Stanton (Billy Rolfe)  
  And introducing Jack O'Halloran (Moose Malloy)  
    Joe Spinell (Nick)  
    Sylvester Stallone (Jonnie)  
    Kate Murtagh ([Frances] Amthor)  
    John O'Leary ([Lindsay] Marriott)  
    Walter McGinn (Tommy Ray)  
    Burton Gilliam (Cowboy)  
    Jim Thompson (Mr. [Baxter Wilson] Grayle)  
    Jimmie Archer (Georgie)  
    Ted Gehring (Roy)  
    Logan Ramsey (Commissioner)  
    Margie Hall (Woman)  
    Jack Bernardi (Louis Levine)  
    Ben Ohta (Patron in pool hall)  
    Jerry Fujikawa (Fence)  
    Richard Kennedy (Detective)  
    John O'Neill (Detective)  
    Mark Allen (Detective)  
    Andrew Harris (Mulatto child)  
    Napoleon Whiting (Hotel clerk)  
    John Eames (Butler)  
    Rainbeaux Smith (Doris)  
    Stu Gilliam (Man)  
    Roosevelt Pratt (Man)  
    Dino Washington (Bouncer)  
    Harry Caesar (Bartender)  
    Bill Gentry (Hood)  
    Cory B. Shiozaki (Water)  
    Noelle North (Girl)  
    Wally Berns (Father)  
    Lola Mason (Mother)  
    Joan Shawlee (Woman in ballroom)  
    Edra Gale (Singer)  
    Karen Gaston (Prostitute)  

Summary: In 1941 in a seedy Los Angeles hotel, private detective Philip Marlowe evades the police who suspect his involvement in a string of recent murders. Risking a private meeting in his hotel room with long-time acquaintance police detective Lt. Nulty, Marlowe relates the events of the past several weeks: After Marlowe wraps up a missing teenager investigation, hulking ex-convict Moose Malloy, who has just completed a seven year stretch for a bank heist, asks the detective to locate his girlfriend, Velma Valento. While the men are walking down the street, shots are fired from a passing car at Malloy but Marlowe manages to push the larger man to the ground. Unperturbed, Malloy explains that he has not heard from Velma in six years and takes Marlowe to a downtown night club, Florian’s, where she used to work. At the club, Malloy demands to see the owner, Montgomery, but when the man tries to shoot him, Malloy kills him. After giving Marlowe fifty dollars to secure his services, Malloy slips away as Marlowe reports Montgomery’s death to Nulty, insisting that the ex-con killed only in self-defense. Upon learning that Tommy Ray, a former musician who played at Florian’s, still lives across the street in the Crescent Hotel, Marlowe visits him. Ray, who is white, lives with his black wife and their young son, who Marlowe befriends. Although Ray says he does not remember Velma, he directs Marlowe to Florian’s widow, Jessie, a faded club singer. When Marlowe brings Jessie a bottle of cheap bourbon, she reminisces about her days as a popular singer, then wonders why Tommy Ray would say he did not know Velma when he performed with her at the club. Marlowe then returns to the musician, who admits that he knew Velma. Armed with a photo of Velma provided by Ray, Marlowe questions several contacts in the burlesque trade. One club owner recalls that Velma, using another name, appeared in a couple of motion pictures, before breaking down and being placed in the Camarillo Sanitarium. Marlowe visits the sanitarium and finds the girl catatonic. Wondering how Malloy will take the news, Marlowe returns to his office where he finds Lindsay Marriott waiting for him. Marriott explains that a friend had an extremely rare jade necklace stolen and the thief has demanded fifteen thousand dollars for its return. Marriott has agreed to make the exchange for his friend later that night and gives Marlowe a hundred dollars to accompany and protect him. That evening, Malloy confronts Marlowe in a restaurant but dismisses the detective’s report on Velma being in a sanitarium. After asserting that Marlowe’s picture is not of Velma, Malloy insists that the detective continue his search. Marlowe returns to Ray to find out why he has lied to him, but the musician is not home. Later, Marlowe meets Marriott and drives his car to the rendezvous. Standing a few feet away from the car, Marlowe is knocked unconscious and when he awakens, he is surrounded by Nulty and police officers who have found Marriott shot dead in the car. Nulty takes Marlowe into headquarters where he and his partner, Billy Rolfe, question him. Grudgingly accepting Marlowe’s explanation, Nulty releases him and the detective immediately sets out to learn who killed Marriott. Directed by a “fence” to an underground jewelry store in Chinatown, Marlowe discovers that the only person who can afford the rare jade is elderly city judge Baxter Wilson Grayle. Later, at Grayle’s elegant mansion, the judge informs Marlowe that his wife is not missing any jewelry. The detective meets the judge’s sultry young wife, Helen, who is wearing an elegant jade necklace. After Helen confides that she trusted Marriott and hopes that Marlowe can find his killer, she blatantly flirts with him in front of Grayle. Disconcerted, Marlowe departs. At his office, Marlowe is attacked by Cowboy, Jonnie and Nick, henchmen of infamous madam Frances Amthor. At Amthor’s bordello, Marlowe is drugged and questioned about Malloy’s whereabouts. After being beaten, Marlowe is placed in a back room where, upon rousing, he finds the body of Tommy Ray. After Cowboy arrives to take Marlowe to Amthor, the detective escapes and finds Amthor’s office where he demands an explanation for his abduction. Before Amthor can respond, however, they are interrupted by one of the prostitutes reporting that Amthor’s favorite girl is in bed with Jonnie. Outraged, Amthor rushes to a nearby room, but when she begins to beat the girl, Jonnie shoots Amthor. In the ensuing mayhem, Marlowe, although still reeling from the effects of the drugs, staggers away. After recovering several days in the apartment of friend and newspaper vendor Georgie, Marlowe visits Mrs. Ray to relay the news of Tommy’s death. That night, Helen telephones Marlowe at his office to invite him to a re-election party for her husband at the swank White Orchid club, owned by gambler Laird Brunette. Meeting Helen at the party later, Marlowe learns that Grayle helped Brunette with a tax situation regarding his yacht and the men have remained on friendly terms. Familiar with Brunette from his days working in the district attorney’s office, Marlowe joins Brunette at his table where the gambler gives him two thousand dollars to help him contact Malloy. The next day, Jessie Florian telephones Marlowe to relay that Velma has been in touch with her and wishes to speak with Malloy. Knowing that Brunette has ordered him followed to find out if he meets Malloy, Marlowe lays low for a few days, then, when contacted by Malloy, arranges with Jessie to have Velma telephone him at Georgie’s apartment. Velma asks Malloy to meet her at a rundown motel out of town, but when Malloy and Marlowe arrive there, they are ambushed by two men with machine guns. After Marlowe kills the gunmen, Malloy refuses to accept that he has been set-up by Velma and departs. Marlowe then reports the murders to Nulty, who is angered that Marlowe has continued to keep him from questioning Malloy regarding the Florian's club murder. Hoping to glean more information from Jessie, Marlowe takes Nulty and Rolfe to her apartment, only to discover that she has been murdered. In the present, Marlowe reaches the end of his account to Nulty, admitting that he remains unsure about who is holding Velma, but is certain Malloy would never have gone to the motel had he not actually spoken with her. When Marlowe tells Nulty that he believes Brunette is involved, Nulty refuses to accompany him to the gangster’s yacht, the Lido . After Nulty leaves the hotel, Marlowe calls Malloy and the men meet at the pier and hire a speed boat to reach the floating casino. After making their way through the lively gambling parlor, Marlowe comes upon Cowboy and Nick and, at gunpoint, demands to see Brunette. In Brunette’s state room, the gambler denies knowing Velma, but moments later Helen appears and Malloy greets her as Velma. Helen assures Malloy that he will receive his cut for taking the fall for the bank robbery years before and orders him to kill Marlowe. When Malloy hesitates, Marlowe points out that those who knew that Helen had once been a prostitute named Velma all ended up dead—Marriott, Ray, Jessie and Amthor. Brunette and Helen acknowledge that Grayle is unaware of his wife’s past and Brunette was blackmailing her in order to maintain Grayle’s protection. Dismayed to realize that he has been Helen’s target all along, Malloy turns on her, but she shoots him and is, in turn, shot by Marlowe. At that moment, Nulty, who has reconsidered abandoning Marlowe, turns up with several officers. Sickened by the sordid entanglements of the case, Marlowe withdraws. Buoyed by one thought, however, the detective takes the two thousand dollars from Brunette to Tommy Ray’s widow and son. 

Production Company: E. K. Corporation  
Production Text: A Dick Richards Film
Distribution Company: Avco Embassy Pictures  
Director: Dick Richards (Dir)
  Henry Lang Jr. (Asst dir)
  David O. Sosna (Asst dir)
  Tim Zinnemann (1st asst dir)
Producer: George Pappas (Prod)
  Jerry Bruckheimer (Prod)
  Elliott Kastner (Exec prod)
  Jerry Bick (Exec prod)
Writer: David Zelag Goodman (Scr)
Photography: John A. Alonzo (Dir of photog)
  Earl Gilbert (Gaffer)
  Chris Schweibert (Cam op)
  Chuy Elizondo (1st asst cam)
  Gary Dodd (Key grip)
  Joe Kosko (2d asst cam)
  Cecil Lupton (Best boy elec)
  Bob Fillis (Elec)
  Pat Marshall (Elec)
  Bud Heller (Best boy grip)
  Bernie Schwartz (Dolly grip)
  Jack Shannon (Still photog)
Art Direction: Dean Tavoularis (Prod des)
  Angelo Graham (Art dir)
Film Editor: Walter Thompson (Film ed)
  Joel Cox (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Bob Nelson (Set dec)
  Barry Bedig (Prop master)
  Gene Anderson (Asst prop man)
  Jim Orendorff (Construction coord)
  Gene Acker (Painter)
  John Lattanzio (Standby painter)
  Tom Roysden (Leadman)
  Nick Caprarelli (Swing gang)
  Bob Dutton (Swing gang)
Costumes: Tony Scarano (Men`s ward)
  Silvio Scarano (Men`s ward)
  Sandra Berke (Women's ward)
Music: David Shire (Mus)
  Ralph James Hall (Mus ed)
Sound: Tom Overton (Sd mixer)
  Dick Portman (Re-rec mixer)
  Bill Phillips (Sd mixer)
  Dennis Jones (Boom man)
Special Effects: Wayne Fitzgerald (Title des)
  Pacific Title (Montage)
  Chuck Gaspar (Spec eff man)
Make Up: Frank Westemore (Makeup)
  Judy Alexander (Hairdresser)
Production Misc: Louis Di Giaimo (Casting)
  Tim Zinnemann (Unit prod mgr)
  Johnny Franco (Scr supv)
  Ronnie Baker (Driver capt)
  John Brumby (Picture car)
  Stanley Mark (Exec accountant)
  Barbara Persons (Auditor)
  Exa Durham (Prod's secy)
  Marc Epstein (Prod's asst)
  Nanette Siegert (Prod secy)
  Barry Bernardi (Prod asst)
  Sydney Levine (Dir's secy)
  Rollie Harper (Caterer)
  Jerry Pam (Unit pub)
MPAA Rating: R
Country: United States
Language: English

Songs: "I've Heard that Song Before," words and music by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn; "Sunday," words and music by Jule Styne, Ned Miller, Chester Cohn and Bennie Krueger.
Composer: Sammy Cahn
  Chester Cohn
  Bennie Krueger
  Jule Styne
Source Text: Based on the novel Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler (New York, 1940).
Authors: Raymond Chandler

Physical Properties: Sd:
  col: Technicolor

Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Detective
Subjects (Major): Detectives
  Impersonation and imposture
  Los Angeles (CA)
Subjects (Minor): Abduction
  Hired killers
  Interracial relationships
  Police detectives
  Yachts and yachting

Note: According to various Var article in Feb 1975, the start of filming was delayed one day due to a protest by the Screen Extras Guild over the employment of non-union extras. Despite the SEG threat to stage worldwide pickets against E-K Productions, filming commenced the next business day at Goldwyn Studios. The 19 Feb 1975 DV article states that the film was originally scheduled to be shot in Florida, but due to a limited budget, production took place entirely in Los Angeles. The article goes on to state that the use of non-union extras was entirely based on budget considerations. DV news items from the 25 Feb and 26 Feb 1975 respectively report that SEG picketed the production those two days, with more than one hundred protesters marching. A 28 Feb 1975 HR item reports a settlement between SEG and E-K Productions. According to the item, “SEG suspended all picketing of the picture when management agreed to bargain.” Farewell My Lovely marked the feature film debut of heavyweight boxer Jack O’Halloran, who later gained fame in the Warner Bros. 1978 Superman and the 1979 sequel Superman II . Various news items note that filming was conducted on the Queen Mary , which stood in for the gambling ship Lido .
       The song, "I've Heard That Song Before," which is heard in the film was introduced in the 1942 release Youth on Parade (see entry) and had received an Academy Award nomination in the category Best Music, Original Song.
       The Raymond Chandler novel Farewell My Lovely was the basis for two films prior to the 1975 Avco Embassy release. The first was a 1942 RKO “B” feature, The Falcon Takes Over (see entry) which exchanged “Phillip Marlowe” for writer Mark Arlen’s detective, “Gay Lawrence,” known as “The Falcon,” played by British actor George Sanders. The plot of the film remained faithful to Chandler’s work. The second film was the RKO 1945 release, Murder, My Sweet (see below), starring Dick Powell as the first screen incarnation of private detective Philip Marlowe. Powell, a well known singer who had appeared in numerous, successful musical films, enjoyed an unexpected career boost by starring as the tough “private-eye." Powell went on to appear in several other detective films throughout the 1940s. For more information on other feature film appearances of Philip Marlowe, please consult the note for Murder, My Sweet . After his appearance as Marlowe in Farewell My Lovely , Robert Mitchum went on to reprise the character in a remake of The Big Sleep , released by United Artists in 1978. Sylvia Miles ("Jessie Florian") was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.  

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   25 Aug 1975   p. 4805.
Daily Variety   19 Feb 1975   p. 1, 7.
Daily Variety   25 Feb 1975.   
Daily Variety   26 Feb 1975.   
Daily Variety   21 Apr 1975   p. 1, 11.
Daily Variety   13 Aug 1975.   
Hollywood Reporter   14 Feb 1975   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   28 Feb 1975.   
Hollywood Reporter   14 Mar 1975.   
Hollywood Reporter   7 Apr 1975.   
Hollywood Reporter   6 Jun 1975   p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Aug 1975   p. 7.
Los Angeles Times   20 Aug 1975   Section IV, p. 16.
New York Times   14 Aug 1975   p. 39.
Variety   13 Aug 1975   p. 16.
Women's Wear Daily   29 Apr 1975   p. 6.

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