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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Over-the-hill gumshoe in Los Angeles seeks to avenge the killing of an old pal, another detective who had gotten himself involved in a case concerning a murdered broad, stolen stamps, a nickel-plated handgun, a cheating dolly, and a kidnapped pussycat. Art Carney and Lily Tomlin are amazingly well-matched playing the convincingly mismatched pair who unravel the tangled mystery, and Bill Macy is equally fine as a friendly bartender-cum-talent agent. The plot of this modern-day paean to the age of Raymond Chandler is perhaps too convoluted to follow in-depth, but that's rather easy to overlook considering it is the least important part of the picture. The begrudging, barb-filled relationship between Carney and Tomlin carries the show, and the friendship that slowly grows between them is thrilling for fans of this type of cinema. A lovely character study/comedy-drama richly deserved--yet did not get--Oscar nominations for all three of its acting principals (it did receive one nomination, for Robert Benton's original screenplay). The chatty film is charmingly askew and lingers in the memory like warm nostalgia. ***1/2 from ****
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