Frank Capua is a rising star on the race circuit who dreams of winning the big one--the Indianapolis 500. But to get there he runs the risk of losing his wife Elora to his rival, Luther ... See full summary »
When 5 allied generals are captured in Italy in WW II, it is a propaganda nightmare for the Allies. The generals are all 1 star and refuse to take orders from each other in order to plan an... See full summary »
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
According to Dennis Brown in Shoptalk (1992), writer William Goldman later adapted for film another Ross Macdonald novel called "The Chill" but the screenplay has never been filmed and remains unproduced. See more »
When Harper is first talking to Mrs. Sampson, a paralytic, she obviously moves her legs under the towel that is over her. See more »
I'm shocked, Mr. Troy. A man of your eminence... involved in something as seamy as smuggling in immigrant labor?
Yeah, well, you are right, you know. It is beneath me. But it pays so well. You know they are wonderfully cheap workers? And the point is, they pay me to smuggle them in, and the ranch owners and the farmers, they pay me, too. Disgustingly lucrative! But, as you suggest, hardly enriching to the soul.
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For years I've believed in how Elliot Gould's Philip Marlowe in "The Long Goodbye" was the first effort at making a P.I. character a whacked out loser with a post-modern attitude. Yet, I'm watching "Harper" today and my jaw is bounding off the floor like a yo-yo. Because in the lead role Paul Newman gives one of the ten best performances I've ever seen, and maybe the best comedic one from a non-comedian actor ever done. Even at the two thirds mark, when 99% of the screenplays usually have nothing new to say about their characters, Lew Harper was still leaving me damn near breathless. How "Cool Hand Luke" is more famous than "Harper", which is never mentioned anywhere as the king-size sleeper it is, bewilders me entirely.
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