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The High Tower Apartments and The Long Goodbye (revisited)


I'm in a reposting mood today, so here is the most popular post of all time from this blog (followed in rank by a personal favorite, Hudson and the W Hotel Hollywood: A Love Story:), featuring our friend Dwayne Moser's photograph of the High Tower Apartments, one of the key locations in one of my all-time favorite movies, Robert Altman's incomparable The Long Goodbye (available to download from iTunes or Amazon).

This post first appeared on March 9 2012.


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. 



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