6.5/10
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The Cheap Detective (1978)

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

Director:

Robert Moore

Writer:

Neil Simon
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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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
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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 »
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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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Sam Diamond" is a combination of Dashiell Hammett's character "Sam Spade" and "Richard Diamond", played by Dick Powell on radio and David Janssen on TV. 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

Lou Peckinpaugh: Your husband's dead a little over an hour and you're already dressed in black? How long you had that outfit waiting in the closet?
Georgia Merkle: You're wrong. I just bought it. There's an all-night widow shop at Fifth and Geary.
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

Referenced in That Lucky Stiff (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Das Lied der Deutschen
(uncredited)
(Also known as 'Deutschland über Alles")
Music by Franz Joseph Haydn
Lyrics by August Heinrich Hoffman von Fallersleben
Sung by the Germans at Nix Place
See more »

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User Reviews

Delicious Satire
28 April 1999 | by mermattSee all my reviews

Taking off on classics like CASABLANCA and THE MALTESE FALCON, this is a clever and fast-paced satire that prefigures the kind of take-offs that would soon follow with films such as AIRPLANE.

You can enjoy the sheer silliness of the film even if you don't know the films it is imitating, but if you are familiar with the originals, this comedy will be even more delicious.


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