After Altman's intensive analysis of Philip Marlowe in The Long Goodbye, it's hard to imagine another straightforward adaptation. Yet Farewell, My Lovely deliberately courts nostalgia with lovingly recreated '40s settings and film techniques recalling the thrillers of the time, besides the casting of Mitchum, who made his name in just such films. As such, it lies alongside the successful 1944 adaptation rather than the current Californian detective pictures, whose troubled introspections it lacks. The film's triumph is Mitchum's definitive Marlowe, which captures perfectly the character's down-at-heel integrity and erratic emotional involvement with his cases. Purists may find the script's tinkering with Marlowe's character irritating. But there are plenty of compensations: strong supporting performances, moody renderings of the underbelly of Los Angeles nightlife, and a jigsaw plot with Marlowe's chase through seven homicides to find an ex-nightclub singer, six years disappeared.