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Out of the Past: The Greatest 1970s Detective Movies

20 May 2016 12:26 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Whether they’re peeping on cheating husbands or reeling in runaway daughters, the cinematic detective, popularized in the ’30s and ’40s, can always be relied upon for a witty line or a sock in the jaw. Often, the detective is a man alone, searching through dark alleys for invaluable clues to some labyrinthine mystery. The detective is often the only soul who will do whatever it takes, no matter how hopeless the circumstances may seem. As Raymond Chandler wrote: “Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean.” In the ’70s, the culture irrevocably changed, but the detective’s job stayed the same — if not perhaps a bit more complex.

The Nice Guys, the newest film from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang writer-director Shane Black, is out in theaters this week. In the film, a luckless private eye and a grumpy hired thug find themselves an unlikely »

- Tony Hinds

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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

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