7.0/10
1,896
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
Reviews

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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, warmest, funniest, and most touching movie you'll ever see about blackmail, mystery, and murder. 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

One of several 1970s spoofs of film noir and hard-boiled detective films of the 1940s from the likes of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, some of which starred Humphrey Bogart, who was the main target of the parodies. The films included Murder by Death (1976) and The Cheap Detective (1978), Peeper (1975), The Long Goodbye (1973), Play It Again, Sam (1972), and The Man with Bogart's Face (1980). 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: Boy, it's really lucky for you that I just happen to be a very self-destructive person.
See more »

Connections

References Gone with the Wind (1939) 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

genuine sleeper
16 June 2000 | by Mr. SandmanSee all my reviews

For those drained and insulted by most of today's no plot, predictable no brainers, this will come as welcome relief. Most reviewers really don't get this little charmer. The direction is deft, the plot well-constructed and the ensemble acting is always on the mark. Though it was directed by Robert Benton of Kramer vs Kramer fame, it was produced by Robert Altman and his influence is evident. Art Carney and Lily Tomlin have great chemistry together and the cast of veteran character actors is top notch. There are moments of goofy good humor, tragedy, sweet wistfulness and chair-gripping tension. This has been a favorite of mine for a long time. Sandman says check it out!


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