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Farewell, My Lovely (1975)



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During the brief film noir revival in the mid-seventies, the Philip Marlowe mystery Farewell, My Lovely, starring Robert Mitchum as the tough detective, was among the best of the bunch. With its plot twists, shady characters, and fascinating mystery, it's as good or better than many of the detective stories of the forties. Mitchum's performance even rivals Humphrey Bogart's in the great The Big Sleep.

One curiosity about film noir is that it's perhaps the only genre that almost depends on black and white to create the appropriate moody atmosphere. Color film noir rarely conjures the right mood. Farewell, My Lovely, while not a black and white film, does the next best thing, by using a limited color palette full of dark browns and shadows. It's surprisingly effective.

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