7.0/10
1,660
31 user 16 critic

The Late Show (1977)

A grumpy semi-retired private investigator partners with a quirky female client to catch the people who murdered his partner.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Ira Wells
...
Margo Sterling
...
Charlie Hatter
...
Ron Birdwell
...
Laura Birdwell
...
Jeff Lamar
Ruth Nelson ...
Mrs. Schmidt
John Davey ...
Sergeant Dayton
...
Harry Regan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ethel Reschke
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Storyline

Ira Wells is an aged retired Los Angeles based private investigator, who is slightly overweight, needs to wear a hearing aid, has a bum leg and an ulcer-laden stomach, and can only afford to rent a room in a house as a place to live. He decides to come out of retirement when a still active contemporary, Harry Regan, shows up on his doorstep with a bullet wound to the gut, from which he eventually dies. Ira wants to find out who killed Harry. Ira is contacted by another long-time acquaintance, Charlie Hatter, a self-proclaimed loser and Hollywood hack, about Harry's last case, something about which probably led to Harry's death. Harry's client was Margo Sterling, a former client of Charlie's who is a flaky penniless new-ageist actress/agent/dress maker. She hired Harry to retrieve her missing cat, Winston, who is still being held ransom by an acquaintance named Brian Hemphill. Ira learns from Margo that Brian hired her to transport goods for him, she unconcerned that those goods ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A classic murder mystery with an offbeat twist. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

4 July 1977 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

La última investigación  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Private eye Ira Wells (Art Carney)'s fee per day was $25 plus expenses. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Ira: Listen, doll, let's get something straight. As long as we're gonna' be working together, try to act like a lady, will you?
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Connections

Spin-off Eye to Eye (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

What Was
Lyrics by Stephen Lehner
Music by Kenneth Wannberg (as Ken Wannberg)
Sung by Bev Kelly
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User Reviews

 
"What was is just...what was"
28 April 2001 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

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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