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Back in '47, a gun was a roscoe, a private-eye was a Peeper, and murder was okay as long as nobody got hurt. In fact, anything was okay with this Peeper on the case because he wouldn't know who-done-it even if he done it himself.
The film's opening title card read: "Los Angeles 1947". See more »
The road stripes during the car chase are wrong for the period. The road has a double yellow centerline and yellow road reflectors. Yellow centerlines were not adopted in the USA until 1971. The bridge railings are also too modern for the period. See more »
I don't think Peeper is a very good film, but I agree that it shouldn't have completely fallen off the map the way it did. It was given a belated if limited DVD release last year.
Timing was not on this film's side. Chinatown paid tribute to film noir in classic fashion only a year before it was released; Play It Again, Sam had spoofed it successfully only a year before that. Those two films, not to mention the films of the film noir era, leave Peeper looking very slight indeed.
Still, Caine has fun as an almost bumbling detective, and Natalie brings smarts and unparalleled sex appeal to her role as a shady lady. The supporting cast is pretty nigh flawless as well, and production values couldn't be better. The script, unfortunately, doesn't add add up to much.
Director Hyams, in a special feature interview, recalls telling Natalie to turn around at the end of a long tracking shot at the end of a long day. She asked what would motivate her to do that and he answered that the camera couldn't follow her if she didn't. She paused and said, "okay, I can feel that". It's too bad that at no point in her last decade did Natalie get to make a movie where character motivation was prioritized, but it's unsurprising to hear that she was a good sport about it.
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