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The Cheap Detective (1978)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Mystery  |  23 June 1978 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 2,688 users  
Reviews: 55 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 | chick | See All (57) »

Taglines:

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

The picture was completely shot on studio sound stages. 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

Lou Peckinpaugh: I'm using rented bullets for my gun. We all got problems.
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

Referenced in Lørdagshjørnet: Gene Wilder (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't She Sweet
(uncredited)
Music by Milton Ager
Played when the DuChards are talking to the Germans at Nix Place
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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