The Late Show (1977)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Late Show Videos & Photos

Movie Info

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 … More

Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Robert Benton
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 30, 2004
Warner Home Video


as Ira Wells

as Charlie Hatter

as Ron Birdwell

as Laura Birdwell

as Mrs. Schmidt

as Sgt. Dayton

as Harry Regan
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Late Show

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (6)

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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.

Danny Rovira

Super Reviewer

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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