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Harper (The Moving Target)

Harper (The Moving Target) (1966)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 1,515

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Movie Info

Screenwriter William Goldman has claimed that Paul Newman agreed to do Harper, the film that established the grateful writer's career, only because he was working unhappily on Lady L. (1965) in Europe, and was looking for something as unlike that film as possible. He stars as Lew Harper, a hip L.A. private dick whose business has gotten so bad that he's re-using his coffee grounds. At the suggestion of his friend, attorney Albert Graves (Arthur Hill), the detective takes on the investigation of


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

William Goldman

Nov 14, 2006

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All Critics (16) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (0) | DVD (5)

By combining flamboyant suspense with a sunbaked slice of life and lots of good mean fun, Director Smight makes every clue a pleasure to follow.

September 30, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director Jack Smight has inserted countless touches which illuminate each character to the highest degree.

September 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Enjoyable performances throughout. Just the same, a very minor Big Sleep.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Newman] is too fresh, too ruggedly good looking to be consistent as the sort of beat-up slob that his shady detective is intended to be and as Mr. Bogart used to be.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Supported by colorful characters (played by Lauren Bacall, Shelley Winters, Julie Harris), Paul Newman gives a solid performance in his first private detective role, which catapulted him to major stardom and brought the genre back to the mainstream.

November 27, 2008 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

William Goldman's adaptation of MacDonald's novel -- his first solo screenwriting credit -- is full of rapid-fire dialogue, but some of the characterizations are thin.

September 30, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Harper shows the actor to good advantage, Newman's nonchalant demeanor well suiting the character of the PI.

December 29, 2006 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Newman smoulders in the lead role, a private eye hired by Bacall to find her missing husband.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

Audience Reviews for Harper (The Moving Target)

No more no less than a sixties update on Philip Marlowe, with dinner theater lines given good location shooting. The mystery is only a matter of eliminating the obvious which leaves the charisma of the actors involved to carry the piece. Newman has fun as Mar ... er ... the gumshoe. Bacall is no longer the rich man's daughter but now his disgruntled wife although essentially the same character. Strother Martin as a cult leader is without a doubt just a fun casting choice.
August 14, 2011

Super Reviewer

Harper has quite the pedigree, it stars Paul Newman, Lauren Bacall, Janet Leigh, Robert Wagner, Jacqueline de Witt AND Shelley Winters. It has a screenplay by Bill Goldman that's kind of a 60's "James Bond Cool" version of a Bogart detective film. Not only that it's shot by Conrad Hall! How can this not be awesome?

*Shrug* The film ends up bumbling it's awesome ingredients and turns out to be a very passable, but unremarkable Who-Dun-It. C'est la vie
March 30, 2011

Super Reviewer

A predictable detective story enriched by Paul Newman's stylish performance :P A few minutes into it and you'd probably know who the perpetrator is.
January 27, 2011

Super Reviewer

This is a spy movie where everyone is a criminal, everyone! I bet you can guess the end just by knowing that. Now, what's the point in seeing this? I wish I hadn't wasted the time. Overall, it's not bad, it's just not good either.
December 9, 2010

Super Reviewer

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