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Gumshoe (1971)

PG | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | December 1971 (UK)
Nightclub comedian Eddie Ginley fulfills his Dashiell Hammett love by putting an ad in the paper as a private eye.

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

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

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Storyline

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 <velo_00@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Finney's the Dick...Gumshoe's the Flick See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

December 1971 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Auf leisen Sohlen  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Albert Finney was originally going to direct this film, Finney having recently directed Charlie Bubbles (1967). But Finney was so immersed in his characterization for the film that he forgoed directing the picture and handed over the reins to his Charlie Bubbles (1967) assistant Stephen Frears. See more »

Quotes

Eddie Ginley: Mrs. Blankers-Cohen?
Anne Scott: Not expected.
Eddie Ginley: Where can I find her?
Anne Scott: 49 Faulkner Square.
Eddie Ginley: Does she live there?
Anne Scott: Yes, but not for long.
Eddie Ginley: How come.
Anne Scott: She's leaving. Tomorrow.
Eddie Ginley: What time?
Anne Scott: 7am.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References The Maltese Falcon (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Liverpool Home
Performed by The Jacksons
Written by Peter McGovern
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Listen little lady, you and I better go for a walk..."
3 May 2001 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Stephen Frears was the ideal choice to direct this quirky little gem. His first film before a prestigious career in television and then in Hollywood shows off his sensitivity, compassion and efficency as a film maker beautifully. Albert Finney gives an astounding performance as our hero, Eddie Ginley, whose life on the surface is far from glamorous. An unemployed Liverpudlian who gets by as a bingo caller and wannabe comic, he is loved by everyone except his repulsive brother William (Frank Finlay) and has recently had to suffer his girlfriend (Billie Whitelaw) leaving him and marrying the sinister William. Eddie however has a boyish love for film noir, the stories of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, and the music of Elvis. When he decides to advertise his services as a private detective, he finds himself up to his neck in murder, drug dealing and South African politics! Finney manages both a weathered Scouse accent and a remarkable impression of Bogart incredibly. He is a lovable character, excellently written and played, who could have sustained a whole series of films. Billie Whitelaw is the Lauren Bacall style femme fatale, and the outsanding Janice Rule the seductive villainess. A fine array of British character actors like Bill Dean, Fulton Mackay and George Innes sprinkle the whole film with colour and eccentricity. The in-jokes for fans of Bogart films are spot-on but anyone can enjoy this film, with some superb one liners and very touching moments. But the whole film is stolen fair and square by the soundtrack, courtesy of Andrew Lloyd Webber of all people! From fifties style rockers, to pensive strings to huge, grandiose thirties style epic themes, the score is a delight. The finest moment is suely Eddie's outwitting of the irreplaceable Fulton MacKay on a tube train. Writer Neville Smith (who plays a small role) showed a less humourous approach to a loner's hero worship of his idols in his 1979 tv play Long Distance Information, in which he played the lead character, Christian, an Elvis obsessed DJ who is working on the night of the King's death. Gumshoe is not really a comedy though, but a pastiche, affectionate and observant. It does have it's dark moments though, including a heroin suicide and a couple of moments of violence. And like any good Raymond Chandler, the plot is unbelievably complicated and the least important element!


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