Neo-noir in the Seventies Episode 2: Get Carter, The Long Goodbye, and The Friends of Eddie Coyle
Our second episode in our Neo-noir in the Seventies Series is up on iTunes and available for download. Curtis and I sat down to discuss Get Carter (1971), The Long Goodbye (1973), and The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973). Three neo-noirs that have revised and extended noir’s tropes into the seventies to great success. Special thanks to Criterion Collection for producing their great transfer of The Friends of Eddie Coyle; hopefully their good work will allow this film to reach a wider audience (we all know how accessibility plays into properly evaluating films in cinephilia).
These three films all have terrific and memorable performances in them. Michael Caine’s Jack Carter is both charming and menacing, Elliot Gould’s Philip Marlowe is an mumbling antithesis of Raymond Chandler’s White Knight, and Robert Mitchum’s Eddie “Fingers” Coyle is a heartbreaking portrayal that stands as one of the most underrated performances from mainstream cinema in the seventies. There are some other great supporting roles in these films as well. Marlowe’s cat deserves high praise, and the same goes for Mark Rydell’s uncanny Marty Augustine performance in The Long Goodbye. The supporting cast (Eddie Coyle’s “friends”) of Eddie Coyle did a great job at bringing some gritty realism to their career criminal characters (Peter Boyle, Richard Jordan, Steven Keats, Alex Rocco, and Joe Santos).
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I’ve attached some articles and book titles to check out if you’re interested in reading more about these films. If you’re a fan of film noir/neo-noir I would highly recommend buying James Naremore’s book on the subject, More Than Night. It is essential reading for any fan of noir whether they are in academia or not. The amount of research he put into that text is astounding and it remains (and certainly will remain for some time) the best book on the subject without any competition (I know because I’ve read every book and article written on the subject for my MA thesis).
Articles available on line:
- The Friends of Eddie Coyle: They Were Expendable by Kent Jones
- The Friends of Eddie Coyle: Excerpt from “The Last Celluloid Desperado” by Grover Lewis
- Review of The Friends of Eddie Coyle by Roger Ebert
- Review of The Long Goodbye by Roger Ebert
- Improvisations and Interactions in Altmanville by Jonathan Rosenbaum
- Review of Get Carter by Roger Ebert
- A Cinema of Loneliness (2003) by Robert Kolker
- More than Night: film noir in its contexts (2008) by James Naremore
- “Smart-ass and Cutie-pie: notes toward the evaluation of Altman (1975)” in Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan (2003) by Robin Wood