Farewell, My Lovely (1975)

R | 97 mins | Drama | 13 August 1975

Director:

Dick Richards

Cinematographer:

John Alonzo

Production Designer:

Dean Tavoularis

Production Companies:

E. K. Corporation, ITC
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HISTORY

According to various Var articles 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 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.
       At the insistence of director Dick Richards, Farewell, My Lovely was produced as a period film, set in Jul 1941 as New York Yankees center fielder Joe DiMaggio neared the end of his famous fifty-six-day hitting streak. The six previous Philip Marlowe films were ... More Less

According to various Var articles 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 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.
       At the insistence of director Dick Richards, Farewell, My Lovely was produced as a period film, set in Jul 1941 as New York Yankees center fielder Joe DiMaggio neared the end of his famous fifty-six-day hitting streak. The six previous Philip Marlowe films were set roughly in the times in which they were filmed.
       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 received an Academy Award nomination in the category of 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 “Philip 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 entry), starring Dick Powell as the first screen incarnation of private detective Philip Marlowe. Because Powell was a well known singer who had appeared in numerous musical films, RKO feared that using the original title, Farewell, My Lovely, would confuse audiences. Powell enjoyed an unexpected career boost by starring as the tough “private-eye," and 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 reprised the character in a remake of The Big Sleep (see entry), released by United Artists in 1978.
       Sylvia Miles ("Jessie Florian") was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
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.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Dick Richards Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
1st asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Gaffer
1st asst cam
Key grip
2d asst cam
Best boy elec
Elec
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop man
Construction coord
Painter
Standby painter
Leadman
Swing gang
Swing gang
COSTUMES
Men`s ward
Men`s ward
Women's ward
MUSIC
SOUND
Sd mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd mixer
Boom man
VISUAL EFFECTS
Title des
Spec eff man
MAKEUP
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
Scr supv
Driver capt
Picture car
Exec accountant
Auditor
Prod's secy
Prod's asst
Prod secy
Prod asst
Dir's secy
Caterer
Unit pub
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler (New York, 1940).
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.
DETAILS
Release Date:
13 August 1975
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 13 August 1975
Los Angeles opening: 20 August 1975
Production Date:
18 February--early June 1975
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
97
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

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 ... +


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. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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