Harper (1966)

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Detective Paul Newman quips his way through a case to find the missing eccentric millionaire husband of cold-hearted Lauren Bacall.

Paul Newman displays his usual charm and humour in this Film Noir style mystery, with Lauren Bacall fitting like a glove into her familiar role of bitter femme fatale. Unfortunately the overly jokey tone compromises the darker edges of the plot and the garish photography and overly conspicuous 1960’s jazz-pop soundtrack have dated it rather badly, as does the supporting cast of TV movie caricatures. The overall effect is to make it feel like a feature length episode of The Rockford Files; but the fact is, I like The Rockford Files!

The jokes are funny, the plot keeps you interested and Newman is always worth watching. Dated yes, but Harper rarely fails to entertain.

6/10

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