Before They Were Stars: Sylvester Stallone in “Farewell, My Lovely”

Here’s a complete random coincidence: during the 1970s, two of the biggest action stars ever had small bit parts playing thugs in completely separate film noir thrillers about the iconic detective character, Philip Marlowe. In 1973, a young bodybuilder named Arnold Schwarzenegger played a henchman in Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye, which featured Elliott Gould in the role of Marlowe. Given Arnold’s limited grasp of the English language at this point, he was only given one line of dialogue. Two years later, Robert Mitchum would portray Philip Marlowe in Farewell, My Lovely, and in this particular scene, he is kidnapped by a group of thugs, one of whom is played by a young Sylvester Stallone. Even though Sly got more screen time than Arnold, he actually got less dialogue, as Stallone’s total number of lines in the film is zero.

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