5.8/10
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7 user 13 critic

Peeper (1975)

Set in the 1940s, the story follows a private eye on a case to find a long lost daughter of an oddball client. Two goons are on a mission to stop him.

Director:

Peter Hyams

Writers:

Keith Laumer (novel), W.D. Richter
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Leslie C. Tucker
Natalie Wood ... Ellen Prendergast
Kitty Winn ... Mianne Prendergast
Michael Constantine ... Anglich
Thayer David ... Frank Prendergast
Timothy Carey ... Sid (as Timothy Agoglia Carey)
Liam Dunn ... Billy Pate
Don Calfa ... Rosie
Margo Winkler Margo Winkler ... Woman with luggage
Harvey J. Goldenberg ... Mailman
Dorothy Adams ... Mrs. Prendergast
Buffy Dee ... Bazooka Himself
Gary Combs ... Torpedo
Robert Ito ... Butler
Snag Werris Snag Werris ... Comic
Edit

Storyline

Set in the 1940s, the story follows a private eye on a case to find a long lost daughter of an oddball client. Two goons are on a mission to stop him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Back in '47, a gun was a roscoe, a private-eye was a Peeper, and murder was okay as long as nobody got hurt. In fact, anything was okay with this Peeper on the case because he wouldn't know who-done-it even if he done it himself.

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 December 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fat Chance See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Chillingly prophetic is the scene where Michael Caine says to Natalie Wood: "You tried to drown me!". See more »

Goofs

The road stripes during the car chase are wrong for the period. The road has a double yellow centerline and yellow road reflectors. Yellow centerlines were not adopted in the USA until 1971. The bridge railings are also too modern for the period. See more »

Quotes

Anglich: Listen to me, I put my kid in an orphanage 29 years ago. It was a nice place; trees, flowers, other kids to play with. And I had to go away, on business. You get the picture?
Anglich: When you came back, she was gone - and you are holding my shirt. Thank you.
Anglich: Only two years later, they give her away to some stranger.
Leslie C. Tucker: She was adopted you mean?
Anglich: Adopted! The place is a pawn shop. I got a hold of this mug that worked there, charged me 75 dollars - in 1919, that's a million - anyhow, told me she was took by ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are spoken by a Humphrey Bogart impersonator. See more »

Soundtracks

Give Me the Simple Life
(uncredited)
Music by Rube Bloom
Played on the piano at the Penguin Lounge
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mildly enjoyable.
9 April 2014 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

"Peeper" is a lightly amusing, rapid fire spoof of vintage film noir. Its greatest assets include a witty script by W.D. Richter (based on a novel by Keith Laumer) and the top notch cast which delivers their scores of dialogue in a truly breathless manner. Ultimately it's a little too silly for its own good, and does lose its momentum a few times, but it's still entertaining and good for some real laughs. It sure gets off to a great start with the opening credits, which aren't listed but *spoken*, by Bogart impersonator Guy Marks. Peter Hyams directs with a fair amount of energy, and the movie does have a decent feel for the 1940s period, complemented by Earl Raths' cinematography and Richard Clements' music. It also helps to have the very English Michael Caine in the lead role, and to see him in this sort of setting.

Caine plays Leslie Tucker, a hard luck private eye hired by blustery stranger Anglich (a memorable Michael Constantine) to hire his long lost daughter Anya, who may have grown up to be one of the two daughters in a rich but eccentric family. Those lovely ladies are Ellen (Natalie Wood) and Mianne (Kitty Winn), and Tucker does find himself quite taken with Ellen. Meanwhile, he's constantly being chased and threatened by two goons who are dubbed "torpedoes": Sid, played by the great screen psycho Timothy Carey, and Rosie, played by Don Calfa, who became a fixture in several Hyams movies.

"Peeper" is fun, at least to a degree. The pacing is very, very good, but viewers might have a hard time keeping track of the plot with so much information divulged in such a snappy way. Caine is wonderful, with strong support from Wood, Winn, Constantine, Thayer David as pompous Frank Prendergast, lively Liam Dunn as weaselly lawyer Billy Pate, Dorothy Adams as the Prendergast matriarch, and Robert Ito as a gruff butler.

No, "Peeper" is no "Chinatown", not by a long shot, but fans of the genre and the actors may have a pretty good time with it.

Six out of 10.


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