7.0/10
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Harper (1966)

Lew Harper, a cool private investigator, is hired by a wealthy California matron to locate her kidnapped husband.

Director:

Jack Smight

Writers:

William Goldman (screenplay), Ross Macdonald (novel)

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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Newman ... Lew Harper
Lauren Bacall ... Mrs. Sampson
Julie Harris ... Betty Fraley
Arthur Hill ... Albert Graves
Janet Leigh ... Susan Harper
Pamela Tiffin ... Miranda Sampson
Robert Wagner ... Allan Taggert
Robert Webber ... Dwight Troy
Shelley Winters ... Fay Estabrook
Harold Gould ... Sheriff
Roy Jenson ... Puddler (as Roy Jensen)
Strother Martin ... Claude
Martin West ... Deputy
Jacqueline deWit ... Mrs. Kronberg (as Jacqueline de Wit)
Eugene Iglesias ... Felix
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Storyline

Lew Harper is a Los Angeles based private investigator whose marriage to Susan Harper, who he still loves, is ending in imminent divorce since she can't stand being second fiddle to his work, which is always taking him away at the most inopportune of times. His latest client is tough talking and physically disabled Elaine Sampson, who wants him to find her wealthy husband, Ralph Sampson, missing now for twenty-four hours, ever since he disappeared at Van Nuys Airport after having just arrived from Vegas. No one seems to like Ralph, Elaine included. She believes he is cavorting with some woman, which to her would be more a fact than a problem. Harper got the case on the recommendation of the Sampsons' lawyer and Harper's personal friend, milquetoast Albert Graves, who is unrequitedly in love with Sampson's seductive daughter, Miranda Sampson. Miranda, who Harper later states throws herself at anything "pretty in pants", also has a decidedly cold relationship with her stepmother, Elaine... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is a different kind of cat named Lew Harper... and excitement clings to him like a dame! [Theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 April 1966 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Ein Fall für Harper See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,000,000, 31 December 1966
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First of two collaborations of actor Paul Newman and director Jack Smight who together would make The Secret War of Harry Frigg (1968) a couple of years later in 1968. See more »

Goofs

In the final scene, when Albert Graves (Arthur Hill) prepares to aim his revolver, there is an unmistakable sound of the revolver being cocked. Then, in a close-up of Graves aiming the revolver, the hammer is in an uncocked position. See more »

Quotes

Lew Harper: Your husband keeps lousy company, Mrs. Sampson, as bad as there is in LA. And that's as bad as there is.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Livin' Alone
Words by Dory Previn
Music by André Previn
Sung by Julie Harris (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Good 'Noir' For The '60s
12 August 2009 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This is very much like a late 1940s film noir, except it's filmed in the mid 1960s. It has that same edgy dialog and feel to it as private eye "Lew Harper" goes looking for a missing man. His character is based on Ross McDonald's best-selling P.I. "Lew Archer."

In "Harper," all the characters are suspicious and they vary from suave "Allan Taggart" (Robert Wagner) to the coquettish late teen "Miranda Sampson" (Pamela Tiffin) to a lawyer "Albert Graves" (Arthur Hill) who's infatuated with the hot teen and also carries a gun. Then there's the overweight has-been entertainer "Fay Esterbrook" (Shelly Winters), the druggie jazz singer "Betty Fraley" (Julie Harris), the New Age scam artist "Claude" (Strother Martin) and a bunch of gangsters and thugs who are the obvious targets. Of them all, I though Winters was the biggest hoot.

Along the way, Newman wins all the verbal bouts but loses the physical contests. He zings everyone with some great put-downs, but takes a physical beating a few times, too. He sports a nice shiner in the last half of the film.

This film will put you smack into the time period, when people danced "The Frug" and referred to cops as "the fuzz." People were starting to wear Beatle-type haircuts, although you'd never find Newman giving in to that counterculture fad. In here, at least, he's old school, tough, relentless and suspicious of everyone......which, at it turns out, is as it should be.

The DVD is now part of the Paul Newman Collection and it's shown with a very sharp 2.35:1 ratio transfer, very much showing off Conrad Hall's cinematography. Johnny Mandel's music score adds to the "coolness" of this film, too.


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