Skip to main content

The High Tower Apartments and The Long Goodbye

Photograph by Dwayne Moser.

This beautiful apartment complex in Los Angeles is called the Hightower or High Tower Complex (the High Tower name refers to the central elevator, I believe), and was designed in 1935-1936 by architect Carl Kay - and made famous in 1973 by my favorite film, Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye (see Why I Love Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye).


Although Altman used the building as Philip Marlowe's apartment in his somewhat post-modern Long Goodbye (the film plays with references to Old Hollywood and opens and closes with the song, Hooray For Hollywood), the building has another direct connection to Raymond Chandler.


It was apparently the inspiration for Chandler in his book, The High Window (the first Chandler novel I ever read), in which Chandler describes the residence of Philip Marlowe as being on the cliffs above High Tower Drive in a building with a fancy elevator tower. (Thanks to the Society of Architectural Historians Southern California Chapter webpage for that.) 


This photograph was taken by our internationally-exhibited artist friend - and fellow Long Goodbye aficionado - Dwayne Moser


Dwayne, my wife, Charong, and I all visited the High Tower building in the late 1990s and rode in the elevator that, along with Philip Marlowe's apartment - and his hippie-dippie neighbor girls - is such an integral part of the film.


Marty Augustine, the wonderfully colorful - and violent - Jewish gangster, played superbly by film director Mark Rydell, also uses the elevator to visit Marlowe, bringing along with him his ethnically-mixed gang of thugs, including a muscle guy played, in a very early role, by Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Duplex apartments at the High Tower do become available occasionally. The address is: 2185 Broadview Terrace, Hollywood. 

Comments

  1. Great post, Alexander. Very interesting, and so good to know that it's still there! I was briefly in LA in 1980 and have always thought that the Long Goodbye is the film that most pictures the city as I remember it. Obviously it's not the whole of LA - but its a picture that I remember. Is that still the case ?
    I posted the following on the TLG facebook wall - but it doesn't always show up when I visit it, so if you haven't seen it, here it is again: An interview with Vilmos Zsigmond on the cinematography of TLG and McCabe & Mrs Miller, and working with Altman in general.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyVi_Te-49M

    ReplyDelete
  2. Isn't this apartment a little too scary?

    apartments for rent in minnetonka mn

    ReplyDelete
  3. Why did you have to bring up Schwartzenegger? He means nothing to the film but irrelevant trivia. Also, he was never in any scene at these apartments-- didn't arrive with Augustine's other muscle.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you all for your comments, and apologies for such a huge delay in replying - I have only just found a way around my browser settings that actually permits me to reply! Before that, I would write replies and they would vanish into the ether!

    This post is, astonishingly, the most popular all-time post on my blog. The Long Goodbye must have legions of fans lurking in the noir shadows!

    As for the comment about why did I mention Schwarzenegger: he hardly seems irrelevant; it's quite amusing that he's in the film, even in a very minor role, and he is quite evident in the "Everybody get naked" scene at Augustine's pad, even if not at the High Towers Apartments. It's interesting (though trivia, indeed) in the same way that Sylvester Stallone's appearance as a subway thug in Woody Allen's Bananas is interesting.

    Thanks to all, and...it's okay with me.
    Alexander

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Please note that for reasons I have not been able to solve yet, I have enormous difficulty posting replies to comments - so I apologize if you ask a question or just make some wonderful remarks and I am not able to respond. I am working on this, because it is very frustrating, but apparently it involves rewriting some of the code of the template! So do not hold your breath...

Thank you for taking the time to comment, and for reading my blog - Alexander

Popular posts from this blog

Andrew Hale and Sade

On Thursday evening, we saw our longtime friend Andrew Hale perform with Sade at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, in one of the most beautifully conceived and produced concert performances I have ever seen.

Sade is a rare musician, in that she and the band only write, record and tour every eight to ten years, so that in a very real sense you can measure your life by her.

The band's music is always fresh and always newly conceived - for their previous album, Lovers Rock, they stripped everything down musically to a minimalist sound and banished the saxophone that had been so much a part of Sade's heavily soul- and jazz-influenced style.


The latest album, Soldier of Love, released in 2010, is one of the most tender, moving collections of songs yet, from the astonishingly beautiful Morning Bird, which features exquisite keyboards from Andrew, to the soulful, retro, return-of-the-sax melodies of In Another Time, and the deeply touching, reggae-influenced charm of Babyfather - a partic…

Wong Kar-Wai Compares In The Mood For Love to Hitchcock's Vertigo

Wong Kar-Wai's In The Mood For Love is an incomparable film, beautiful in the way music is beautiful. You can enjoy it for its narrative or you can enjoy favorite passages, over and over again. It is one of my go-to films, for reflection, meditation and sheer pleasure.

The quote below, provided by youmightfindyourself on Tumblr, is a fascinating allusion from Wong Kar-Wai, comparing In The Mood For Love to Vertigo. They are both unforgettable films.





Wong Kar-Wai states he was very influenced by Hitchcock’s Vertigo while making this film, and compares Tony Leung’s film character to James Stewart’s:

“The role of Tony in the film reminds me of Jimmy Stewart’s in Vertigo. There is a dark side to this character. I think it’s very interesting that most of the audience prefers to think that this is a very innocent relationship. These are the good guys, because their spouses are the first ones to be unfaithful and they refuse to be. Nobody sees any darkness in these characters – a…