Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 1977. Warner Bros.. Screenplay by Robert Benton. Cinematography by Charles Rosher Jr.. Produced by Robert Altman. Music by Kenneth Wannberg. Production Design by Robert Gould. Film Editing by Peter Appleton, Lou Lombardo. Academy Awards 1977. Golden Globe Awards 1977. New York Film Critics Awards 1977.
What a treat! The inspired private-eye genre that you love from older movies like The Maltese Falcon and more recent classics like The Long Goodbye, combined with some wacky humour reminiscent of The Thin Man movies. Aging private eye Art Carney is pulled out of retirement when an old friend shows up dead and he decides to get to the bottom of who killed him. In walks new-ager Lily Tomlin, who is hoping he can help her find the guys who kidnapped her cat, and lo and behold, the cases are connected. From there it’s twists and turns as the two team up to chase bad guys (including a great wild ride in her van that nearly tears an entire neighbourhood apart) and find who is responsible for the mounting pile of bodies that keep showing up in every place they look for clues. A sexy Joanna Cassidy has a terrific supporting turn in this gem of a film, written and directed by Robert Benton (Kramer Vs. Kramer) and produced by Robert Altman.