6.5/10
3,314
61 user 10 critic

The Cheap Detective (1978)

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

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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Hoppy
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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

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

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Release Date:

23 June 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Neil Simon's The Cheap Detective  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,000,000, 25 June 1978, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$28,221,552, 31 December 1978
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Phil Silvers: As Hoppy, a cab driver. 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

Jezebel Dezire: Why don't you pull up a sofa and sit down?
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: In 1939, the ominous grey clouds of war broke loose over Western Europe and rained down havoc and destruction . . . followed by humidity and gradual clearing.

In the Philippines, a small band of native guerrillas prepared secretly for the inevitable conflict that would soon engulf the East . . . This has nothing to do with our story.

Our story is about crime. Not the bad crime we face each day on our streets . . . but the good crime we came to know and love in a time when the world was innocent ... when murder wasn't something you were ashamed of ... when a bullet hole wasn't something disgusting . . . and when a man could betray a woman without feeling guilty. Our story starts in a fictitious city called San Francisco ... seven thousand miles away from Casablanca. See more »

Connections

Spoofs The Maltese Falcon (1941) 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
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User Reviews

Smart humor. Almost too smart.
4 May 2004 | by 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.


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