Gumshoe (1971)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  December 1971 (UK)
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Ginley (Albert Finney) is a nightclub bingo caller eager for a career change. On his thirty-first birthday, he advertises himself as a private eye in the newspaper. He dons a trench coat, ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Blankerscoon
George Innes ...
Bookshop Proprietor
George Silver ...
De Fries
Bill Dean ...
Tommy (as Billy Dean)
Neville Smith ...
Oscar James ...
Joe Kenyon ...
Joey (as Joey Kenyon)
Bert King ...


Ginley (Albert Finney) is a nightclub bingo caller eager for a career change. On his thirty-first birthday, he advertises himself as a private eye in the newspaper. He dons a trench coat, and begins engaging others in rapid-fire dialogue as if he were Humphrey Bogart, or some Dashiell Hammett creation. Soon after, Ginley is phoned by a fat man, who gives him a package containing a gun, a photograph, and a large sum of money. Eventually Ginley is investigating a case involving smuggling of weapons as well as drugs. Ginley also finds himself at odds with his unsupportive brother, who offers Ginley payment to break off his investigations. Eventually Ginley learns of his brother-in-law's involvement in the crimes at hand. Ginley faces a series of daunting tasks: solving the crimes, bringing justice to the smugglers (and a murderer), as well as maintaining his safety and sanity in the process. Written by veloc <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Who runs this ruthless power game with blackmail, violence - and murder? See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

December 1971 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Auf leisen Sohlen  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The birthday that Eddie Ginley (Albert Finney) celebrates in the film was his 31st. See more »


Eddie Ginley: Thanks for the present.
William: What present?
Eddie Ginley: The birthday present.
William: The day I give you a present pigs will fly.
Eddie Ginley: That's what I mean, thanks for the flying pig.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening Columbia logo does not have the Columbia name on it, just the lady with the torch. See more »


Referenced in Red Dwarf: Gunmen of the Apocalypse (1993) See more »


These Foolish Things
Music by Jack Strachey
Lyrics by Eric Maschwitz
See more »

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User Reviews

Insanely under-rated, under-appreciated
24 April 2015 | by (North America) – See all my reviews

The 70s. You had to be there.

The cheap production standards of the 50s were an attempt to mass produce films the way you would would mass produce shoes. The 60s was an experimental era the same way the children of the 60s were experimenting with everything they could get their hands on.

By the 70s films had become more contemplative. The folks behind this little gem decided it was time somebody wrote a script that captured the very essence of the film noires from the 40s.

Notice I emphasized the script first, because the rest seems almost an afterthought. Make no mistake. Finney is brilliant as the protagonist comic who wants to be a shamus, a gumshoe, but without that magical script there would be no movie.

The script is brilliant. You could turn the picture off and simply listen to the soundtrack and not miss much. ITS THAT GOOD.

One scene in particular where Eddie has to seduce an office girl to get an address seems a riff off Bogey in BIG SLEEP. But with better and faster dialog.

The fact that even the IMDb tag for the film says "comedy" -- WHICH IT WAS NOT -- tells you how lost this gem is in the annals of film.

Whitelaw is great. Janice Rule steals her few scenes.


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