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Gumshoe

Gumshoe(1971)

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  • gumshoe

    • kevin sellers
    • 3/30/15

    It's a muddled film, probably as a result of trying to be too many films, or not quite knowing what kind of a film it really is. Is it a spoof of private eye movies? Is it an homage to private eye movies? Is it a realistic look at a Liverpool loser and dreamer? During the course of its ninety minutes "Gumshoe" is all three, and this results in a less than satisfying whole. Too bad, 'cause there's a lot to like. Neville Smith's screenplay is funny and refreshingly non PC. He feels no compunction in making his anti hero, Eddie Ginley (well played by Albert Finney) little more than a wisecracking, racist, Liverpudlian jerk. Unfortunately, the subsidiary characters, are not as well drawn. And the plot (something about South African gun running) is fairly ludicrous. Steven Frears, in his first film, shows a good feel for pacing, never letting the film bog down so that the viewer gets bored. Also, the Liverpool location shooting was great for someone who has never been to the birthplace of the Beatles. Add it all up and I'll give it a C plus.

  • gumshoe

    • kevin sellers
    • 3/30/15

    Can't decide if it's a spoof of private eye movies, an homage to private eye movies or a realistic study of a British Walter Mitty on the dole. Consequently, it's all over the place, with an absurd plot (something about gun running to South Africa) and, except for Albert Finney's Liverpudlian loser, dull characters that not even fine actors like Frank Finlay, Billie Whitelaw or Janice Rule can redeem. Some of the dialogue is good, esp. in the wise cracking mold, and director Steven Frears keeps the silly story moving at a good clip, and the Liverpool location shooting is interesting, but all in all this is a forgettable film. Give it a C.

  • gumshoe

    • kevin sellers
    • 3/30/15

    It can't decide if it's a spoof on private eye movies, an homage to private eye movies, or a downbeat study of a Liverpool loser who dreams of alternately being Humphrey Bogart and a Vegas stand up comic. Consequently, it's all over the place, with a ridiculous plot involving gun running to South Africa, and fairly dull characters that not even good actors like Albert Finney, Billie Whitelaw, Frank Finlay, and Janice Rule can redeem. On the plus side, some of the writing is good, especially Albert Finney's guy on the dole insults to his wealthy businessman brother, (The film is definitely stuck in the British, late 60s/early 70s compulsive, anti establishment, "Morgan" mold, mostly to its detriment) Director Steven Frears keeps the silly story going at a good clip, and the Liverpool location shooting is interesting, but all in all this is an eminently forgettable movie. Give it a C.

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