A hardboiled aging private eye is hired to find and protect a missing government witness sought after by the gangsters. The witness is a beautiful French woman and even the cops can't be trusted. The case is tough, but so is Chandler.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Katherine Creighton
Ross J. Carmady
Charles 'Chuck' Kincaid
John Melchior
Bernie Oakman
Sal Sachese (scenes deleted)
Walter Burke ...
Marianne McAndrew ...
Angel Carter
Lal Baum ...
Charles Shull ...
Binder Ransin
John Mitchum ...
Rudy, Bartender


A hardboiled aging private eye is hired to find and protect a missing government witness sought after by the gangsters. The witness is a beautiful French woman and even the cops can't be trusted. The case is tough, but so is Chandler.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Chandler is a private eye. It's a hard way to make a living... and an easy way to die.


Drama | Crime


GP | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 December 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Open Shadow  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to "Uprising at MGM," a Time Magazine article of Dec. 27, 1971, director Paul Magwood and producer Michael Laughlin placed a black-bordered ad in the Hollywood Reporter apologizing for the movie, claiming that MGM studio chief James T. Aubrey had severely re-cut Chandler (1971) and added previously deleted scenes, in Aubrey's judgment, to simplify the plot. Aubrey also allegedly changed the film score from 1940s-type music to something more contemporary. The producer and director also claimed that Magwood was denied entry to the editing room while Aubrey revised the film. See more »


When Carmady shoots the man in the parking structure a loud report can be heard from inside the car; yet when Kincaid shows up, and Carmady hands him the gun it has a suppressor on the barrel of a revolver. Which anyone knows does not suppress the blast. See more »


Ross J. Carmady: Zip your fly, Chuck. We've got business!
See more »


Featured in Warren Oates: Across the Border (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting total failure
15 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The "Trivia" page on IMDb claims the filmmakers protested because this film was re-cut by the studio to "simplify the plot". If so, that effort was a total failure, as this is one of the most incoherent narratives I've ever seen in a film -- I'd hate to have seen it before the plot was "simplified."

It's sad to see Warren with so little character to go on that even he can't do anything with the inept material. It's interesting to see Caron in '70s mode instead of her Hollywood-era glamour garb and persona, but it's sad to see her haplessly wander through this doing-a- favor-to-her-producer-husband dreck. She would actually later hook up with and marry the director, instead -- who, you'll note, never directed anything again, but did strictly 1st or 2nd A.D. work in TV from here on out. That oughta tell you enough right there.

I call this "interesting" because I have an automatic fondness for American films of this period, and this role does add perspective to Oates' otherwise fantastic 1971 output (Two- Lane Blacktop, The Hired Hand). But the "1940s detective as fish-out-of-water in 1970s L.A." theme, which is the only thing the movie really has to say, is sold in way too heavy- handed a manner. A similar theme would be far more effectively handled two years later in Altman's The Long Goodbye. And as far as Oates playing a hard-bitten guy on a doomed errand, three years on, he would give his definitive performance in Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. If you haven't seen those, don't waste your time with this!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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