Farewell, My Lovely is a lethargic, vaguely campy tribute to Hollywood’s private eye mellers of the 1940s and to writer Raymond Chandler, whose Phillip Marlowe character has inspired a number of features.
Despite an impressive production and some firstrate performances, this third version fails to generate much suspense or excitement.
The plot has the cynical but humane Marlowe (Robert Mitchum) searching in seedy LA for the missing girl friend of an ex-con. After a number of false leads and predictable murders, Marlowe winds up on a gambling ship for the final confrontation, shoot-out and body count.
Mitchum, who might appear a natural for the Marlowe role, seems a bit adrift here, underplaying to the point of inertia. Remainder of cast makes effective use of smaller roles.
1975: Nomination: Best Supp. Actress (Sylvia Miles)