Critic Reviews



Based on 6 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
William Goldman, in his first solo script credit, plays knowing games with the Chandlerish conventions, while director Smight pumps up the pace and tags along with the allusive casting of Bacall. Enjoyable performances throughout.
By combining flamboyant suspense with a sunbaked slice of life and lots of good mean fun, Director Smight makes every clue a pleasure to follow.
Some excellent directorial touches and solid thesping are evident in the colorful and plush production. Abundance of comedy and sometimes extraneous emphasis on cameo characters make for a relaxed pace and imbalanced concept, resulting in overlength and telegraphing of climax.
MacDonald's novel--his first solo screenwriting credit--is full of rapid-fire dialogue but some of the characterizations are thin. Despite all the big names involved, Harper doesn't begin to approach the big leagues of hard-boiled detective films. Nonetheless, Newman gives a convincing performance.
The action is swift and the mystery fetching in this handsomely made color film. But eventually it seems a bit too obvious, imitative, old-fashioned and, worst of all, stale.
The New Yorker
Paul Newman in a bungled attempt to recapture the Bogart private-eye world of The Big Sleep. Shelley Winters gives the picture artificial respiration for a few minutes, but it soon relapses. A private-eye movie without sophistication and style is ignominious.

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