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Cheap Detective
     

The Cheap Detective

4.8 5
Director: Robert Moore, Peter Falk, Ann-Margret, Eileen Brennan

Cast: Robert Moore, Peter Falk, Ann-Margret, Eileen Brennan

 

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Spoofing the entire 1940s detective genre, and his own performances as a bumbling private detective, Peter Falk plays Lou Pekinpaugh, a San Francisco private detective accused of murdering his partner at the instigation of his mistress, the partner's wife, Georgia Merkle (Marsha Mason). Police Lieutenant DiMaggio (Vic Tayback) has his eye on Lou and blunders around in

Overview

Spoofing the entire 1940s detective genre, and his own performances as a bumbling private detective, Peter Falk plays Lou Pekinpaugh, a San Francisco private detective accused of murdering his partner at the instigation of his mistress, the partner's wife, Georgia Merkle (Marsha Mason). Police Lieutenant DiMaggio (Vic Tayback) has his eye on Lou and blunders around in a way which complicates Lou's efforts to clear his name. Lou gets a new client when Mrs. Montenegro (Madeline Kahn) and her cronies (John Housman, Paul Williams and Dom DeLuise) hire him to search out a dozen diamond eggs. Marlene DuChard (Louise Fletcher) also comes to him for help of a complicated nature. In this madcap comedy written by Neil Simon, obstacles and complications appear every few minutes, and a great many famous actors show up in hilarious cameos.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Most of Neil Simon's work is in what might be termed traditional comedy, but in the mid-'70s, he made a couple of detours into parody, as in The Cheap Detective. Though not a classic film, it's a nice change of pace for Simon, and played into the then-current trend toward spoofing film genres (e.g., Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, and Simon's own Murder By Death). The plot is extremely convoluted, as befits a spoof of the hard-boiled private eye picture. Simon can't quite maintain the rapid fire succession of gags (visual and verbal) and director Robert Moore can't quite maintain the necessary pace, but for the most part, the film is good fun. The cast helps matters greatly, with Peter Falk as a rather nutty Humphrey Bogart type and Madeline Kahn hilarious as a Mary Astor-like character who keeps changing her name (to, among other things, Norma Shearer). Eileen Brennan creates a very memorable saloon crooner, and Ann-Margret is wonderful as the most fatale of femme fatales. Special credit should also go to Charles R. Pierce for his careful rec-reation and slight exaggeration of film noir settings, and to Patrick Williams' score, a loving homage with a zing of its own.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/05/2016
UPC:
0043396471740
Original Release:
1978
Rating:
PG
Source:
Sony Pictures Home
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
18,704

Special Features

Closed Caption

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter Falk Lou Peckinpaugh
Ann-Margret Jezebel Dezire
Eileen Brennan Betty DeBoop
Sid Caesar Ezra Dezire
Stockard Channing Bess
Dom DeLuise Pepe Damascus
Louise Fletcher Marlene DuChard
John Houseman Jasper Blubber
Madeline Kahn Mrs. Montenegro
Scatman Crothers Tinker
James Coco Marcel
Fernando Lamas Paul DuChard
Marsha Mason Georgia Merkle
Phil Silvers Hoppy
Abe Vigoda Sgt. Rizzuto
Paul Williams Boy
Nicol Williamson Col. Schissel
Emory Bass Butler
Carmine Caridi Sgt. Crosseti
Vic Tayback Lt. DiMaggio
Steve Fisher Actor
Richard Narita Actor
Jerrold Ziman Actor
Dean Perry Actor
George Simmons Actor
Lew Gallo Cop
James Cromwell Schnell
David Ogden Stiers Captain
Carole Wells Hat-Check Girl
John Calvin Qvicker
Barry Michlin Bandleader
Jonathan Banks Cabbie
Lee Mc Laughlin Fat Man
Zale Kessler Courier
Bella Bruck Scrub Woman
Henry Sutton Desk Clerk
Maurice Marks Doorman
Joe E. Ross Michel
George Rondo Cab Driver
Ronald L. Schwary Cab Driver
Charles Bastin Croupier #2
Armando Gonzales Bartender
David Matthau Military Man
Gary Alexander Dancer
Wally K. Berns Floyd Merkle

Technical Credits
Robert Moore Director
Theoni V. Aldredge Costumes/Costume Designer
John A. Alonzo Cinematographer
John A. Anderson Costumes/Costume Designer
Phillip Bennett Art Director
Margaret Booth Producer
Lyle J. Burbridge Sound/Sound Designer
Agnes G. Henry Costumes/Costume Designer
Sid Levin Editor
Augie Lohman Special Effects
Robert Luthardt Production Designer
Wiliam L. McCaughey Sound/Sound Designer
Al Overton Sound/Sound Designer
Charles R. Pierce Art Director,Set Decoration/Design
Charles Schram Makeup
Ronald L. Schwary Production Manager
Neil Simon Screenwriter
Ray Stark Producer
Michael A. Stevenson Editor
Patrick Williams Score Composer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Cheap Detective
1. Chapter 1 [10:19]
2. Chapter 2 [11:00]
3. Chapter 3 [9:08]
4. Chapter 4 [9:44]
5. Chapter 5 [10:17]
6. Chapter 6 [10:31]
7. Chapter 7 [9:30]
8. Chapter 8 [10:13]
9. Chapter 9 [11:21]

Customer Reviews

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The Cheap Detective 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
freddiwithneye More than 1 year ago
Yes! Yes! Yes! This and Murder By Death. A wonderful double feature evening. Like I said in my review of MBD, the topper was my brother saying, "Hey did you see that new movie 'Death by Dying'"? Now how can we twist the title on this one, just for fun and general principles?
hound1 More than 1 year ago
A typical Neil Simon movie. Humerous and low key, just pay attentio to the subtle dialogue. I know I said no thinking, just pay attention. Simon has combined a spoof of several Bogart movies and Peter Falk plays the character well. Along with the other Loons in the cast of characters it gives an enjoyable escape from reality.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I didn't know much about this movie until I discovered it was from the same people who brought us another hilarious comedy, Murder By Death! I bought the DVD solely on that merit, and I was not disappointed! The movie was cleverly written by Neil Simon, and I laughed throughout the movie! While the movie is wonderfully silly, it does not rely on the slapstick (and unfunny) kind of humor you would find in the Naked Gun movies with Leslie Nielsen. You will not be disappointed with this movie!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My mind blends this movie and The Maltese Falcon so closely that I find Madelyn Kahn's role and Mary Astor's as inextricable, Peter Falk is Rick and Sam, Louise Fletcher's idealism and Fernando Lamas' Two Star French Restaurant in Oakland and 'the papers, darling' fit the setting and story so well, Tinker plays the song, the fog drifts and the fog horns sound, while John Houseman and Dom DeLuise conspire...I just say play it again, Neil.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago