The Late Show (1977)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Even though he barely makes enough money to cover his expenses and finds divorce cases (his bread and butter) unsavory, aging detective Ira Wells (Art Carney) is determined to stay active and to retain some amount of self-respect. When his partner Harry Regan (Howard Duff) is killed while on assignment, Ira agrees to take on his current case, although he can't see how it has anything to do with his friend's murder, which he is anxious to solve. In order to survive, by solving the case of his client's missing cat, and solving the murder of his friend, Ira winds up accepting a lot of help from his client Margo (Lily Tomlin). By the end of the film, it looks like an offbeat romance, or perhaps a new business partnership, is blooming. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Late Show
Audience Reviews for The Late Show
Charming crime comedy with Carney and Tomlin a wonderfully off beat pair, their chemistry makes this a delight. A real sleeper.
Robert Benton's sardonic, affectionate homage to the private-eye films of the 40's and 50's. it benefits greatly by the moving, magnificent performance by the late great Art Carney, playing a washed-up, aging private eye determined to solve one tantalizing case, after his one time partner is murdered. Carney vows to get the killer, but the trail begins with Lily Tomlin, in a delightful performance as a flaky ex-hippie, who stolen cat Carney's partner had been hired to find. Tomlin starts off trying to hired Carney, who at first wants nothing to do with her, but then has a change of heart, and soon she turns into his dizzy sidekick, they have real nice quirky chemistry together. The film is filled with wonderful plot-twists that include blackmail, murder, double-crosses and philandering wives. The major success of this film is due Robert Benton, who made his impressive directorial debut with this fine film, and wrote the brilliant original screenplay. A sadly underrated gem, that is a true winner! Highly Recommended.
Art Carney's late career resurgence is quite interesting, and The Late Show is solid if unremarkable. Interesting PI movie. Tomlin's character gets on my nerves in that Shirley MacLaine New Age-y sort of way. Or is that just Tomlin's go-to character for her at this time, I'm not sure. Art Carney is just so easily watchable, even while not really doing much.
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