6.5/10
1,310
24 user 19 critic

Gumshoe (1971)

Inspired by his love for Dashiell Hammett novels, nightclub comedian Eddie Ginley puts an ad in the paper as a private eye. The case he gets turns out to be a strange setup and as he digs to the bottom of it his life starts falling apart.

Director:

Stephen Frears

Writer:

Neville Smith
Reviews
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Albert Finney ... Eddie Ginley
Billie Whitelaw ... Ellen
Frank Finlay ... William
Janice Rule ... Mrs. Blankerscoon
Carolyn Seymour ... Alison
Fulton Mackay ... Straker
George Innes ... Bookshop Proprietor
George Silver George Silver ... De Fries
Bill Dean ... Tommy (as Billy Dean)
Wendy Richard ... Anne Scott
Maureen Lipman ... Naomi
Neville Smith Neville Smith ... Arthur
Oscar James Oscar James ... Azinge
Joe Kenyon Joe Kenyon ... Joey (as Joey Kenyon)
Bert King Bert King ... Mal
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Storyline

Ginley (Albert Finney) is a nightclub bingo caller eager for a career change. On his thirty-first birthday, he advertises himself as a private eye in the newspaper. He dons a trench coat, and begins engaging others in rapid-fire dialogue as if he were Humphrey Bogart, or some Dashiell Hammett creation. Soon after, Ginley is phoned by a fat man, who gives him a package containing a gun, a photograph, and a large sum of money. Eventually Ginley is investigating a case involving smuggling of weapons as well as drugs. Ginley also finds himself at odds with his unsupportive brother, who offers Ginley payment to break off his investigations. Eventually Ginley learns of his brother-in-law's involvement in the crimes at hand. Ginley faces a series of daunting tasks: solving the crimes, bringing justice to the smugglers (and a murderer), as well as maintaining his safety and sanity in the process. Written by veloc <velo_00@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Ginley's a gumshoe. Ginley's got guts. Ginley's got a gun. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 April 1972 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Auf leisen Sohlen See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie features a character called "The Fat Man' played by George Silver. "The Fat Man" is a character in detective film and fiction who was created by Dashiell Hammett and was most famously portrayed by Sydney Greenstreet in The Maltese Falcon (1941). The character's name also formed the title of the 1951 movie The Fat Man (1951). See more »

Quotes

Psychiatrist: Eddie, you know what? You're a bloody nut!
Eddie Ginley: I owe it all to you, doc.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening Columbia logo does not have the Columbia name on it, just the lady with the torch. See more »

Connections

References The Big Sleep (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Crying In The Rain
(uncredited)
Performed by The Jacksons
Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Insanely under-rated, under-appreciated
24 April 2015 | by A_Different_DrummerSee all my reviews

The 70s. You had to be there.

The cheap production standards of the 50s were an attempt to mass produce films the way you would would mass produce shoes. The 60s was an experimental era the same way the children of the 60s were experimenting with everything they could get their hands on.

By the 70s films had become more contemplative. The folks behind this little gem decided it was time somebody wrote a script that captured the very essence of the film noires from the 40s.

Notice I emphasized the script first, because the rest seems almost an afterthought. Make no mistake. Finney is brilliant as the protagonist comic who wants to be a shamus, a gumshoe, but without that magical script there would be no movie.

The script is brilliant. You could turn the picture off and simply listen to the soundtrack and not miss much. ITS THAT GOOD.

One scene in particular where Eddie has to seduce an office girl to get an address seems a riff off Bogey in BIG SLEEP. But with better and faster dialog.

The fact that even the IMDb tag for the film says "comedy" -- WHICH IT WAS NOT -- tells you how lost this gem is in the annals of film.

Whitelaw is great. Janice Rule steals her few scenes.

Recommended.


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