Honest and hard-working Texas rancher Homer Bannon has a conflict with his unscrupulous, selfish, arrogant and egotistical son Hud, who sank into alcoholism after accidentally killing his brother in a car crash.
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
Poorly meshed backgrounds whenever we see a front view of the characters driving their cars. See more »
[Drunkenly granning Harper and preparing to give him a huge wet kiss to apologise for the drink she's just smiled on him]
Aww, I'm sorry babe! You ain't no Gemini! Here, let me make it up to you!
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Harper was one of a select few in the sixties that still stand out as eminently watchable films if not for the plot then for a host of other notable features. Newman together with Steve Mcqueen were the cool end of town during the sixties and more or less had the field to themselves.In Harper Newman extends himself in the cool department & delivers a classic performance which ranks with the better films he has made to date. In fact in this role Newman probably tried to do Mcqueen better than the man himself & to a great extent succeeded. Who could resist seeing Pamela Tiffen on that springboard in that bikini if you watched it for no other reason that would not be bad start.The look on Newmans face when he sees the pool for the first time and the laconic looping wave of the arm as he departs the pool after the first encounter with Tiffen & Wagner.The supporting cast should not be forgotten with sterling efforts from the adorable Lauren Bacall & Strother Martin to name a couple.Like many 60s movies which were quickly seen & forgotten this one is worthy of a place in the top shelf as Newman says in the film theres something all bright & shiny. All in all !triffic!
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