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.
The nicest movie you'll ever see about murder and blackmail. [Lobby Card]
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Did You Know?
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
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
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.
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.
Lyrics by Stephen Lehner
Music by Kenneth Wannberg
(as Ken Wannberg)
Sung by Bev Kelly See more