6.5/10
3,486
61 user 12 critic

The Cheap Detective (1978)

San Francisco, 1940, detectives, dames, documents, Nazis, and a treasure.

Director:

Robert Moore

Writer:

Neil Simon
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Five famous literary detective characters and their sidekicks are invited to a bizarre mansion to solve an even stranger mystery.

Director: Robert Moore
Stars: Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers
Plaza Suite (1971)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Three vignettes, each set in room 719 of New York's Plaza Hotel, make up this comedy.

Director: Arthur Hiller
Stars: Walter Matthau, Maureen Stapleton, Barbara Harris
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A suddenly-unemployed executive suffers a nervous breakdown.

Director: Melvin Frank
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Anne Bancroft, Gene Saks
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An Ohio sales executive accepts a higher position within the company and travels to New York City with his wife for his job interview but things go wrong from the start.

Director: Arthur Hiller
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Sandy Dennis, Sandy Baron
Chapter Two (1979)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

George Schneider is an author whose wife had just died. His brother Leo gives him the number of Jennie Malone, and somehow they hit it off, and just when things are moving along, the memory... See full summary »

Director: Robert Moore
Stars: James Caan, Marsha Mason, Joseph Bologna
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Eugene, a young teenage Jewish boy, recalls his memoirs of his time as an adolescent youth. He lives with his parents, his aunt, two cousins, and his brother, Stanley, whom he looks up to ... See full summary »

Director: Gene Saks
Stars: Blythe Danner, Jonathan Silverman, Stacey Glick
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Grandmother has nothing to say when Libby tells her that she is off to LA to look up Dad, a Hollywood screenwriter. Grandmother has been in a New York cemetery for six years and Dad has ... See full summary »

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Walter Matthau, Ann-Margret, Dinah Manoff
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A middle aged restaurateur begins to feel the desire to roam and realizes that one day each week, his mother's apartment will be empty all afternoon. He makes several attempts at seduction,... See full summary »

Director: Gene Saks
Stars: Alan Arkin, Sally Kellerman, Paula Prentiss
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Lou Peckinpaugh
Ann-Margret ... Jezebel Dezire
Eileen Brennan ... Betty DeBoop
Sid Caesar ... Ezra Dezire
Stockard Channing ... Bess
James Coco ... Marcel
Dom DeLuise ... Pepe Damascus
Louise Fletcher ... Marlene DuChard
John Houseman ... Jasper Blubber
Madeline Kahn ... Mrs. Montenegro
Fernando Lamas ... Paul DuChard
Marsha Mason ... Georgia Merkle
Phil Silvers ... Hoppy
Abe Vigoda ... Sgt. Rizzuto
Paul Williams ... Boy
Edit

Storyline

Lou Peckinpaugh, the Cheap detective has entered a world that is half Casablanca and half Maltese Falcon. A parody of Bogart's films in which Lou goes through a series of scenes from the two movies trying to keep ahead of the police who think he killed his partner and find the black bird. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Who dunnit? This time it's Neil Simon who's really dunnit. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

23 June 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Neil Simon's The Cheap Detective See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,000,000, 25 June 1978, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$28,221,552, 31 December 1978
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of three movies written by Neil Simon that were directed by Robert Moore. The others are Murder by Death (1976) and Chapter Two (1979). See more »

Goofs

The movie takes place in 1940, yet the song sung in the nightclub is 'La Vie En Rose' which was not written until 1946. See more »

Quotes

Marlene DuChard: Paul... are you sure we ought to be here?
Paul DuChard: There is nothing to worry about, my dear - we're in England now!
Marlene DuChard: No, Paul. This is America.
Paul DuChard: [looking around] Oh yes, America.
Marlene DuChard: We should've gone to a doctor, Paul. I'm not sure I got all that bullet out of your head.
Paul DuChard: Oh, chérie... It doesn't matter. It's the thought that counts.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: In 1939, the ominous grey clouds of war broke loose over Western Europe and rained down havoc and destruction . . . followed by humidity and gradual clearing.

In the Philippines, a small band of native guerrillas prepared secretly for the inevitable conflict that would soon engulf the East . . . This has nothing to do with our story.

Our story is about crime. Not the bad crime we face each day on our streets . . . but the good crime we came to know and love in a time when the world was innocent ... when murder wasn't something you were ashamed of ... when a bullet hole wasn't something disgusting . . . and when a man could betray a woman without feeling guilty. Our story starts in a fictitious city called San Francisco ... seven thousand miles away from Casablanca. See more »

Connections

Spoofs Casablanca (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

La Vie en Rose
Music by Louiguy
Lyrics by Édith Piaf
Performed by Eileen Brennan and others at Nix Place
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Bogey Would Be Proud
12 July 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

If Humphrey Bogart could have seen The Cheap Detective he'd have loved every minute of it. I counted satirical moments from The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, The Big Sleep and To Have and Have Not as well as other noir classics that Neil Simon cleverly worked into a plot that makes no rational sense, but will keep you glued to the chair with laughter.

Bogey would have liked Peter Falk's spot on impersonation of the detective from the wrong side of the tracks. Falk is always a player with one amazing bag of tricks whether he's serious as in Murder, Inc., or funny as in Robin and the Seven Hoods or a bit of both as in The Brink's Job.

Not since It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World had so many funny people gathered together for one film. Even normally serious actors like Fernando Lamas and Nicol Williamson seem to be having a ball just hamming it up. My favorite aside from Falk is Eileen Brennan as Betty DeBoop. How can you go wrong with a name like that.

You can't describe any kind of plot, the whole thing is so much wonderful nonsense. Just sit back and enjoy.


19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 61 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed