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Sleuthing in the ‘70s: ‘The Long Goodbye’,‘Chinatown’, and ‘Night Moves’

By Yasmina Tawil

By Steven Goldman   


“There’s a body on the railing
That I can’t identify
And I’d like to reassure you
But I’m not that kind of guy.”
—Robyn Hitchcock, “Raymond Chandler Evening,” 1986.

At the conclusion of John Huston’s 1941 adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s novel, The Maltese Falcon, private investigator Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) turns the woman he has come to love (Mary Astor) over to the police for murdering his partner. She refuses to believe he’ll betray her, asking, “How can you do this to me, Sam?”...

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