- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- Oliver Cutshaw
Fine film that combines elements of an old Philip Marlowe mystery with commentary of the swinging, sordid, and somewhat shallow lifestyles that are stereotypically associated with Southern California. Arthur Hill, Lauren Bacall, Newman all solid but Shelley Winters, Strother Martin, and Robert Wagner really stand out. Good soundtrack. Solid direction. Always enjoyed its updating on the old trench coat private eye films of the forties. Due for a remake.
Another 'h' of a movie by Paul Newman
- Armen Pandola
The Lew Archer fictional detective (ceated by Ross MacDonald) becomes Leww Harper because Paul Newman had a series of hits with movies containing a word that began with the letter H'' and wanted to continue his streak. The screenplay by William Goldman sets the standard for the modern detective movie - Harper has so many personal problems that his wife leaves him and his best friend almost shots him. The strong suit of this film is the cast. Newman at his 1960's best, Shelly Winters giving another Oscar caliber perfomance, Arthur Hill in a rare film role, Laren Bacall as the world's worse stepmother and a supporting cast that includes a wonderful guru send up by Strother Martin. The real sleeper in the movie is the performance by Robert Wagner - it is his best. Don't miss this one.
Most interesting aspect of this film is seeing LA as it was back in the 60's... all the Landmarks now long gone. Note the Psychodelic Hippie House at the top of Topanga Canyon overlooking Malibu was a major hang-out back then; well-known for its wild Open Invitation Full Moon parties... The old Porsche Speedster Newman drives in the film was owned by Steve McQueen; who was often seen driving around in it on LA's west side before & after the film.