The first close-up of Charlie's white shoes with blood on them also shows Ira's black shoes right next to him, but Ira doesn't walk up to help Charlie until the following shot. See more »
Why was, uh, this Escobar blackmailing you?
Well, I was seeing this man. We were having an affair.
Your husband didn't know anything about it?
Does the Pope shit in the woods?
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The saddest thing about Robert Benton's "The Late Show" is that it has gotten lost in the shuffle when discussing the great movies of the nineteen seventies. This is a terrific piece of film noir that is paying homage to the great detective mysteries of the forties. Benton's sharp screenplay is sensational in creating colorful, likable, and original characters. Benton beautifully connects all the points of the complex plot by the end, leaving the viewer completely satisfied.
The all around acting in the film is terrific, with Lily Tomlin supplying comedic support to Art Carney's lead detective Ira Wells. The film however belongs to the late, great Art Carney. Carney gives quite simply an amazing tour de force performance as the aging Ira Wells. He is a sad and lonely character who is socially awkward yet surprisingly tough. He is a great underdog character, who with Carney in the lead role, the viewer cannot help but to root for. After showing his dramatic range and winning an Oscar for Best Actor for 1974's "Harry and Tonto" (a personal favorite of mine), Art was offered some terrific roles and gave some great performances. In many ways Carney's performance in "The Late Show" is better then his performances in his other two great films of the seventies, "Harry and Tonto" and "Going In Style". It is a treat and pleasure to watch him in "The Late Show" because it shows a legendary and extroadinarily talented actor in full force.
Thankfully Warner Brothers has released "The Late Show" on DVD (now if only Fox could release "Harry and Tonto" on DVD). For years it was very difficult to get on VHS. While the film may look a little dated, it hooks the viewer with its story and acting that you will be glad that you took a trip back to 1977.
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