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The Cheap Detective (1978)

 -  Comedy | Crime | Mystery  -  23 June 1978 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 2,456 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 6 critic

San Francisco, 1940, detectives, dames, documents, Nazis, and a treasure.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ezra Dezire
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Bess
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Marcel
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Pepe Damascus
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Hoppy
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Sgt. Rizzuto
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Boy
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Storyline

Lou Peckinpaugh, the Cheap detective has entered a world that is half Casablanca and half Maltese Falcon. A parody of Bogart's films in which Lou goes through a series of scenes from the two movies trying to keep ahead of the police who think he killed his partner and find the black bird. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

detective | police | parody | nazi | death | See more »

Taglines:

Who dunnit? This time it's Neil Simon who's really dunnit. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 June 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Neil Simon's The Cheap Detective  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Madeline Kahn's character uses 16 names: Denise Manderley, Wanda Coleman, Gilda Dabney, Chloe LaMarr, Alma Chalmers, Alma Palmers, Vivian Purcell, Carmen Montenegro, Diane Glucksman, Mrs. Danvers, Natasha Ublenskaya, Sophie DeVega, Mary Jones, Lady Edwina Morgan St. Paul, Norma Shearer, and Barbara Stanwyck. The name used most is Mrs. Montenegro. See more »

Goofs

When Lou and Marlene are talking in his apartment, her scarf keeps changing position from surrounding her face to trailing down the back of her head. See more »

Quotes

Betty DeBoop: Hello, Fred, I was hoping you'd drop by.
Lou Peckinpaugh: The name is Lou, and we've never met.
Betty DeBoop: Let's not get in a sweat about details. - Aren't you going to light my fire?
Lou Peckinpaugh: Certainly.
[He lights her cigarette]
Lou Peckinpaugh: I was just looking over your kindling wood.
Betty DeBoop: If you're not busy, Fred, I get off at two. Don't you think two's a good time to get off on?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are written in chalk on a sidewalk, a brick wall, a tambourine, a dock piling, and the back of an overcoat. See more »

Connections

Spoofs Chinatown (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't Misbehavin'
(uncredited)
Music by Fats Waller and Harry Brooks
Played after the shooting at Nix Place
Also played at the bar when Peckinpaugh meets Blubber
See more »

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User Reviews

Smart humor. Almost too smart.
4 May 2004 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

"The Cheap Detective," as others have observed, is a sendup of two of Bogart's most famous films. The film's opening sequence sets the stage of the humor styleings which acts as both a setup and warning for the casual viewer.

The humor is smart, but almost too clever for its own good. It's funny, but you almost have to be a Neil Simon fan (or at least in tune with his writing style) to really get the gags. Not entirely true, because if you keep an open mind, and understand all or most of the references, you should have a good time :-)

Otherwise the film might go over your head, or rather you'll understand that there's supposed to be a joke at a certain moment, but won't get the entire gist because you might be unfamiliar with the material being referenced. Hence the reason why I called the film almost too clever for its own good.

It helps to be familiar with both "Casablanca" and "The Maltese Falcon" to really get all of the "in-stuff" within Simon's film. Even so there's a good amount of regular humor that should help boost the appeal to those already in the know, and at the same time salvage a film for those not.

And yeah, Anne Margaret never looked better :-)

A fairly good watch, but not for everyone.


17 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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