THE CHEAP DETECTIVE (Movie)

6/23/1978. Friday. 92 minutes. Rated PG.
Columbia. Video release 6/6/1990.
Comedy.
Code: CD 6/1978

PLOT

Takeoff on 40s PI and spy films, a cross between Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon. A gumshoe is accused of murdering his partner; many suspicious characters show up looking for treasure--a dozen diamond eggs.

CREDITS

Writer: Neil Simon.
Director: Robert Moore.

CAST

Peter Falk as Lou Peckinpaugh
Ann-Margret as Jezebel Dezire
Eileen Brennan as Betty DeBoop
Sid Caesar as Ezra Dezire
Stockard Channing as Bess
Jonathan Banks as a cabbie (unnamed) who delivers package for Peter Falk. Listed 28th of 61.

CHARACTER

He’s a nervous gum-chewing New York cabbie.

COMMENTS

There is a running gag that Peckinpaugh never tips cabbies, and never even tells them to keep the change. The payoff of the gag is Peckinpaugh telling JB to put the package and his change on the table, after getting him to deliver the package by promising him extra money. (Despite the fact it's supposed to be the same cabbie outside the building, it doesn't sound like JB's voice, and there are three other cab drivers in the credits.)

CRITICS

Mixed reviews.

Los Angeles Times, 6/18/1978, Calendar p.1.

New York Times, 6/23/1978, sec. III, p.8.

Variety, 6/7/1978.

LINES

(One line only.) "I was told to deliver this to Mr. Peckinpaugh."

SCREEN TIME

27 seconds, in 1 scene at 1 hour, 10 minutes into film.