Friday, January 31, 2014

FAREWELL, MY LOVELY (1975) - Dick Richards

Not a Thompson reworking, but a Raymond Chandler adaptation. I watched this primarily because of Thompson's onscreen cameo. He doesn't have much to do, but then again he's not really known for acting, is he? He's in one or two short scenes playing Charlotte Rampling's cuckolded, elderly millionaire husband. Thompson was definitely getting up there in age by this point (only two years before his demise). He died considerably less well-financed than his character, all of his own works being out of print in the States. Still, it's good to see the man in the flesh (onscreen) and in a pretty classy adaptation of one of his own crime-writing forefathers' best works.

Mitchum is rock solid and sleepy-eyed as always in his first turn as an aged Philip Marlowe. Sylvia Miles plays another fantastic lived-in lush. Harry Dean shows up for a few scenes. Charlotte Rampling plays beguiling and non-British just fine. There's also a young Sly Stallone as a mute thug. The direction by Dick Richards (his porn name?) is a little bit staid for the mid-'70s but "classy." Maybe I'll have to check out the other Mitchum Marlowe.

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