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Harper (1966)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  23 February 1966 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 4,550 users  
Reviews: 68 user | 17 critic

Lew Harper, a cool private investigator, is hired by a wealthy California matron to locate her kidnapped husband.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Harper (1966)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Mrs. Sampson
...
Betty Fraley
Arthur Hill ...
...
Pamela Tiffin ...
...
...
Dwight Troy
...
Fay Estabrook
...
Sheriff
...
...
Claude
Martin West ...
Deputy
Jacqueline deWit ...
Mrs. Kronberg (as Jacqueline de Wit)
Eugene Iglesias ...
Felix
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Storyline

Lew Harper is a Los Angeles based private investigator whose marriage to Susan Harper, who he still loves, is ending in imminent divorce since she can't stand being second fiddle to his work, which is always taking him away at the most inopportune of times. His latest client is tough talking and physically disabled Elaine Sampson, who wants him to find her wealthy husband, Ralph Sampson, missing now for twenty-four hours, ever since he disappeared at Van Nuys Airport after having just arrived from Vegas. No one seems to like Ralph, Elaine included. She believes he is cavorting with some woman, which to her would be more a fact than a problem. Harper got the case on the recommendation of the Sampsons' lawyer and Harper's personal friend, milquetoast Albert Graves, who is unrequitedly in love with Sampson's seductive daughter, Miranda Sampson. Miranda, who Harper later states throws herself at anything "pretty in pants", also has a decidedly cold relationship with her stepmother, Elaine... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Girls think Harper is kicky. But sometimes he makes them feel funny. See Harper make girls feel funny. See Harper. [Theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 February 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Harper  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was the "first solo script credit" of screen-writer William Goldman according to Time Out. See more »

Goofs

When Harper is first talking to Mrs. Sampson, a paralytic, she obviously moves her legs under the towel that is over her. See more »

Quotes

Fay Estabrook: [in a small scared voice after she briefly awakens when Harper has dumped her drunken body on the sofa] Don't try to do anything to me tonight, dumpling, everything is tilting! Some other time, any other...
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Drowning Pool (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Livin' Alone
Words by Dory Previn
Music by André Previn (as Andre Previn)
Sung by Julie Harris (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Good 'Noir' For The '60s
12 August 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is very much like a late 1940s film noir, except it's filmed in the mid 1960s. It has that same edgy dialog and feel to it as private eye "Lew Harper" goes looking for a missing man. His character is based on Ross McDonald's best-selling P.I. "Lew Archer."

In "Harper," all the characters are suspicious and they vary from suave "Allan Taggart" (Robert Wagner) to the coquettish late teen "Miranda Sampson" (Pamela Tiffin) to a lawyer "Albert Graves" (Arthur Hill) who's infatuated with the hot teen and also carries a gun. Then there's the overweight has-been entertainer "Fay Esterbrook" (Shelly Winters), the druggie jazz singer "Betty Fraley" (Julie Harris), the New Age scam artist "Claude" (Strother Martin) and a bunch of gangsters and thugs who are the obvious targets. Of them all, I though Winters was the biggest hoot.

Along the way, Newman wins all the verbal bouts but loses the physical contests. He zings everyone with some great put-downs, but takes a physical beating a few times, too. He sports a nice shiner in the last half of the film.

This film will put you smack into the time period, when people danced "The Frug" and referred to cops as "the fuzz." People were starting to wear Beatle-type haircuts, although you'd never find Newman giving in to that counterculture fad. In here, at least, he's old school, tough, relentless and suspicious of everyone......which, at it turns out, is as it should be.

The DVD is now part of the Paul Newman Collection and it's shown with a very sharp 2.35:1 ratio transfer, very much showing off Conrad Hall's cinematography. Johnny Mandel's music score adds to the "coolness" of this film, too.


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