The Cheap Detective

  • 1978
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Comedy, Mystery

A real romp for Falk playing a wacky Bogart-like gumshoe running around San Francisco and parodying many a Bogie film. Simon's slapstick comedy is a cut below his MURDER BY DEATH but is nevertheless consistently funny--and often hilarious. Falk's character lurches and scrambles through the plots of number of movies--THE MALTESE FALCON and CASABLANCA, to...read more

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A real romp for Falk playing a wacky Bogart-like gumshoe running around San Francisco and parodying many a Bogie film. Simon's slapstick comedy is a cut below his MURDER BY DEATH but is nevertheless consistently funny--and often hilarious. Falk's character lurches and scrambles through the

plots of number of movies--THE MALTESE FALCON and CASABLANCA, to name two--with Mason doing a jiggling imitation of his dead partner's wife (she carries his ashes in a jar constantly being spilled, in a reprise of the role of Gladys George). Kahn is a jut-jawed imitation of Astor, Houseman a

blimpish Greenstreet (in a role originally intended for comedian-impressionist George Kirby, who lost out because of his drug-deal prison sentence), Williams a shrimpish Elisha Cook, Jr., and DeLuise an unfunny Lorre type. Fletcher and Lamas do Bergman and Henreid when the theme switches to

CASABLANCA, and Brennan clutches and claws at Falk in her Lee Patrick/Effie role. Hooligans and Nazis are mixed together in a plot sure to stupify anyone not familiar with those Bogart classics. AnnMargret, in a costume that might quite literally be called a "revelation," is a sort of combined

Bacall in THE BIG SLEEP and Trevor in MURDER, MY SWEET. She is married to the real culprit, if indeed there really is one: the millionaire owner of the Golden Gate Bridge, zany Caesar. The gags run hot and heavy--some forced, some genuinely funny. The scene in the cafe is wonderful--the Germans,

led by Williamson, begin singing their war song and are countered by Falk and Brennan bellowing "Deep Purple." So is the bit where Falk almost breaks Scatman Crothers' fingers for playing the song--not "As Time Goes By" but "Jeepers Creepers." It's not vintage Simon, but the film has enough

low-brow laughs to keep the viewer interested, and Falk's performance is worth the whole show

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  • Released: 1978
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: A real romp for Falk playing a wacky Bogart-like gumshoe running around San Francisco and parodying many a Bogie film. Simon's slapstick comedy is a cut below his MURDER BY DEATH but is nevertheless consistently funny--and often hilarious. Falk's character… (more)

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