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The Cheap Detective (1978)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Mystery  |  23 June 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 2,881 users  
Reviews: 57 user | 7 critic

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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ezra Dezire
Pepe Damascus
Sgt. Rizzuto


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

detective | police | parody | nazi | chick | See All (57) »


He knows every cheap trick, cheap joke, cheap shot and cheap dame in the book. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

23 June 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Neil Simon's The Cheap Detective  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The farewell scene between Lou Peckinpaugh (Peter Falk and Marlene DuChard (Louise Fletcher) was shot on the same sound stage that was used for the Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman farewell in Casablanca (1942). See more »


The movie takes place in 1939, yet the song sung in the nightclub is 'La Vie En Rose' which was not written until 1946. See more »


Lou Peckinpaugh: No tip. There's been a death in the family.
Cabbie: I wish it was you!
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 »


Spoofs To Have and Have Not (1944) See more »


La Marseillaise
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Played at the arrival of the DuChards
Also sung at Nix Place
See more »

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User Reviews

Delicious Satire
28 April 1999 | by (Eatontown, NJ, USA) – See all my reviews

Taking off on classics like CASABLANCA and THE MALTESE FALCON, this is a clever and fast-paced satire that prefigures the kind of take-offs that would soon follow with films such as AIRPLANE.

You can enjoy the sheer silliness of the film even if you don't know the films it is imitating, but if you are familiar with the originals, this comedy will be even more delicious.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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