A hapless Los Angeles private detective is hired by a shady millionaire to search for the man's missing teenage heiress while at the same time, the detective's estranged teenage niece arrives in town and wants in on the case.
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When a millionaire hog farmer discovers his daughter baring all in Hollywood porn movies, he calls in ace private eye Harry Petry. Braving a menagerie of murderous tinseltown low-life thugs, and fending off a variety of love-hungry dames Harry does his best imitation of a Philip Marlowe tough guy - with riotous results. Written by
Robert Foster's "Hollywood Harry" was a pleasant, if unremarkable low-budget modern day homage to brooding old-fashion crime thrillers with a cartoon-like sensibility to it. The humour can be a little off putting and the superfluous script goes about providing some knowing film references, but where it really loses out was how unfocused and somewhat laborious the episodic narrative felt. Harold "Harry" Petry is a down-on-his-luck private eye who unwillingly takes on a job to find a millionaire's daughter, but at the same time his teenage niece rocks up to stay with him and wants to help him out with his work. When it wasn't centering on the skimpy investigation (which itself wasn't all that interesting), time was spent on love interests, alcohol abuse, dancing or family matters. It had that contemplative character build-up, but none of this felt all that fulfilling and to tell the truth I didn't really know what was going on. It only complicated matters, as it didn't know what it wanted to be, yet alone where it wanted to go. While it might seem there's a lot going on, not much eventuates. What it has going for it though is its scene-chewing performances. Outside of the systematically starch directing, Robert Foster would star. He's no hard-boiled private detective (like something Humphrey Bogart would portray), but a miserable slouch. Foster is great, then supporting him is his pal Joe Spinell in a colourfully terrific role as a fellow P.I. The two had originally worked together in the 1983 vigilante films "Walking the Edge" (which makes a quick appearance on a TV screen) and "Vigilante". His daughter Kate Forster plays his character's niece, but her tomboy attitude gives ample opportunity to set-up gags and provides much needed fire. Shannon Wilcox is the possible love interest. Then you got some neat roles for Redmond Gleeson, Peter Schrum and Read Morgan. Look out for small parts for Frank Pesce and Cynthia Thompson. Set in Los Angeles, easily the backdrop would be Hollywood with people wandering around with stars in their eyes and a soothing blues music score behind it all. A light-hearted, but quite limited and talkative crime comedy.
"I am not a character out of a god damn book".
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