Raymond Chandler’s private eye Philip Marlowe returns, but this time the dic is transported to the 1970s. Elliott Gould (MASH) plays the Marlowe character as a cocky mumbling slob and he’s wonderful.
Early one morning his friend Terry Lennox (former pro baseball player Jim Bouton) shows up and says he fought with his wife and needs a ride to Tijuana. When Marlowe gets back to his apartment, the cops are waiting for him and want to know where he took Terry, because Lennox’s wife was found dead. The rest of the film chronicles Marlowe’s meandering path to finding out the truth behind what really happened to Terry and his wife.
Along the way, Eileen Wade (Nina Van Pallandt, AMERICAN GIGOLO) hires Marlowe to locate her booze-hound writer husband Roger (Sterling Hayden, DR. STRANGELOVE). Also working into the plot are gangster Marty Augustine (Mark Rydell, HAVANA) and strange clinic doctor Verringer (Henry Gibson, NASHVILLE).