6.5/10
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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

Country:

Language:

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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:

$5,000,000 (USA) (25 June 1978)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Sam Diamond" is a combination of Dashiell Hammett's character "Sam Spade" and "Richard Diamond", played by Dick Powell on radio and David Janssen on TV. See more »

Goofs

The movie takes place in 1940, yet the song sung in the nightclub is 'La Vie En Rose' which was not written until 1946. See more »

Quotes

Lou Peckinpaugh: This is a gin sling!
Jasper Blubber: It is? I was wrong - the waiter's name is Brandy.
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

Heigh Ho
(uncredited)
Music by Frank Churchill
Lyrics by Larry Morey
Sung by Peter Falk
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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.


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