7.0/10
1,869
33 user 16 critic

The Late Show (1977)

A grumpy semi-retired private investigator partners with a quirky female client to catch the people who murdered his partner.

Director:

Robert Benton

Writer:

Robert Benton
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Art Carney ... Ira Wells
Lily Tomlin ... Margo Sterling
Bill Macy ... Charlie Hatter
Eugene Roche ... Ron Birdwell
Joanna Cassidy ... Laura Birdwell
John Considine ... Jeff Lamar
Ruth Nelson ... Mrs. Schmidt
John Davey John Davey ... Sergeant Dayton
Howard Duff ... Harry Regan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ethel Reschke Ethel Reschke
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Storyline

Ira Wells is an aged retired Los Angeles, California based private investigator comes out of retirement when a former partner, Harry Regan, shows up on his doorstep with a bullet wound to the gut, and dies. Ira wants to find out who killed Harry. Ira is contacted by another long-time acquaintance, Charlie Hatter, a self-proclaimed loser and Hollywood hack, about Harry's last case. Harry's client was Margo Sterling, a former client of Charlie's who is a flaky penniless new-age actress, agent, and dress maker. She hired Harry to retrieve her missing cat, Winston, who is still being held ransom by an acquaintance named Brian Hemphill, who stole Winston because Margo "borrowed" money. With all this, Ira has to figure out what would be the reason for someone to kill Harry. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | gun | cat | noir | gumshoe | See All (10) »

Taglines:

The nicest movie you'll ever see about murder and blackmail. [Lobby Card] See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 July 1977 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

La última investigación See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Ira Wells (Art Carney) first meets Margo Sterling (Lily Tomlin), she asks Ira how he feels about cats, and he responds, "I don't know." In his stellar performance in Harry and Tonto (1974), Carney loves his cat, Tonto, and travels across country with the feline. See more »

Goofs

The first close-up of Charlie's white shoes with blood on them also shows Ira's black shoes right next to him, but Ira doesn't walk up to help Charlie until the following shot. See more »

Quotes

Margo Sperling: I'm gonna' go down to the police station and get a private detective's license. If we teamed up, we'd be great together.
Ira: That's just what this town has been waiting for. A broken-down old private eye with a bum leg and a hearing aid, and a fruitcake like you.
See more »


Soundtracks

What Was
Lyrics by Stephen Lehner
Music by Kenneth Wannberg (as Ken Wannberg)
Sung by Bev Kelly
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User Reviews

An excellent detective story.
22 August 1999 | by Skip McCoySee all my reviews

This is a great movie. It's such a remarkable throwback to 40s noir and detective films. Art Carney's Ira Wells adds a kind of post modern twist to the genre as he is an aging detective, not as hard boiled as he used to be. One thing that's neat about this film is the way that Ira and his contacts talk to each other. Benton resurrects the distinctive lingo of The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon within this interesting group of underworld entangled characters. I've seen a lot of other flicks that try to do the same thing, but this one makes it much more believable and doesn't play it for comic effect. Similar to the way Miller's Crossing draws you into its world with dialogue (among other things), so too does this film. Lily Tomlin also teams up well with Carney as his flighty new partner in private investigation. This film is a genuine treat for fans of Spade or Marlowe movies.


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