The original novel written by Raymond Chandler in 1953; is built around his character, detective Phillip Marlowe. The title in and of itself could be a farewell to his wife; who was terminally ill at the time of the writing of the book. Interviews with Chandler let us know that this is a personal story of sorts with Roger Wade and Terry Lennox ; characters based loosely on himself and his own bouts of alcoholism. “The Long Goodbye” influence over the last 50 years is seen in its being adapted for film, television, radio, music and by other novelist.
The first adaptation to the novel was a TV series in 1954 called “Climax” with Dick Powel playing Marlowe. The next was the 1973 film by Robert Altman set in Los Angeles with Elliott Gould as Marlow. BBC Radio 4 produced the novel in January 1976, and again in October 2011. A Japanese broadcast aired five episodes in a Japanese adaptation in 2014.
While the screen versions are direct and noteworthy; there are many other less direct referrals to the novel by other music artist and writers covering a wide range. The author Greg Iles refers to the book in his own work “The Quiet Game.” Michael Connelly takes quotes for use in his novel “Black Ice.” The novel makes many more appearances in other works of fiction.
“Nothing Says Goodbye like a bullet” — Phillip Marlowe in the 1973 film “The Long Goodbye.” The screenplay was written by Leigh Brackett and starring Elliott Gould, Nina van Pallandt, Sterling Hayden. “Neo-Noir” or Hard-boiled is a term taken from literary genre and shares some parts such as settings, plots and characters with crime fiction. The film fits into this category; however, these terms have become so generalized or vague that any film that has a detective or crime will be included.
The novel has spawned a wide and vast net of influence across the big screen, TV, music and other works of fiction. I look forward to reading it.