5.8/10
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10 user 9 critic

Love at Large (1990)

Vampish miss Dolan hires hardboiled P.I. Harry Dobbs to tail her shady boyfriend. Harry realizes that the man leads a double life but then his client disappears. Harry teams up with his own tail, P.I. Stella Wynkowski, to clear things up.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Stella Wynkowski
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Miss Dolan
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Mrs. Ellen McGraw
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Mrs. King
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Frederick King / James McGraw
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Doris
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Art the Farmhand
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Corrine Dart
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Marty
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Rick
Meegan Lee Ochs ...
Bellhop
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Taxi Driver
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Tavern Bartender
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Hiram Culver, Used-Car Salesman
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Storyline

A down and out private detective (Berenger) is asked by a beautiful woman (Archer) to follow her lover (Young) because she thinks he may be planning to kill her. Due to her poor description she's in danger. He ends up following the wrong man, but discovers the wrong man has some sleazy secrets himself. Meanwhile another detective (Perkins) has been hired to follow Berenger, and they eventually decide to work together to find out what is really going on. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love is the only lead worth following.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

9 March 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ahava B'Ma'akav  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross:

$1,436,308 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Harry's revolver is a nickel-plated Colt Detective Special. See more »

Quotes

Harry Dobbs: Look, just let him go. Wipe him out of your memory. Whatever you do, don't be jealous. You'll... you'll start hurting yourself. You'll feel guilty. Your hair. You'll... you'll cut your hair... and I kind of like it the way it is.
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Soundtracks

You Don't Know What Love Is
Written by Gene de Paul and Don Raye
Performed by Anne Archer
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User Reviews

 
Hard to find but worth the trouble
7 November 1999 | by See all my reviews

After reading the reviews, I expected "Love at Large" to be an almost surreal experiment in film noir, heavy on atmosphere and short on plot. It's true that the cars and some of the costumes don't seem to fit the early 1990s setting--Doris's green, full-skirted dress, complete with eight inches of yellow crinoline, is straight out of the 1950s, and the Blue Danube nightclub seems to belong to an even earlier era (pre-World War II). The vampy Miss Dolan exudes a 1940s glamour and mystery, the kind of woman who never existed outside of male fantasies. But much of the action (or conversation) takes place in realistic settings--upper-middle-class suburban houses, airplanes, airports, a ranch in what appears to be Wyoming or Montana.

More to the point, the subplot surrounding the bigamist Frederick King/James McGraw (Ted Levine) is not merely "thrown in," as some critics have suggested. Mistaken identity is a classic comedic device going back at least 2000 years to the New Comedy of Menander in ancient Greece, and it still works. It also adds suspense; both Harry (Tom Berenger) and Stella (Elizabeth Perkins) believe McGraw/King to be Miss Dolan's "charming but dangerous" lover, Rick, and are consequently oblivious to whatever danger the real Rick may present.

The Levine subplot also provides opportunities for variations on the love theme so blatantly emphasized by Stella's omnipresent "Love Manual." Compared with most movies of the 1980s and 90s, this one has relatively little sex but lots of kissing. (Ted Levine gets to kiss two women, unusual for him, but this film predates "Silence of the Lambs," in which his powerful performance as Jame Gumb stereotyped him as a murderer.) There are some genuinely tender moments and a lot of surprises, some of them comic and most of them in some way related either to love or mistaken identity.

The casting is excellent. Both Berenger (despite his gravelly voice) and Perkins are likeable and believable, and Levine is marvelous as a man with two lives and two personalities. (No, he's not schizophrenic; he just likes to go out on a limb because, as he tells Stella, "that's where the fruit is").

To say more would be to spoil the film. Find it and watch it. It will be well worth the trouble of hunting it down.


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