The Cheap Detective (1978) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Cheap Detective (1978)

The Cheap Detective

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Cheap Detective Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Playwright Neil Simon tries his hand at film parody in The Cheap Detective, sending up the private genre of the 1940s --The Maltese Falcon in particular. Peter Falk is Lou Peckinpaugh, a trenchcoated nincompoop with a Humphrey Bogart accent, who finds himself accused of killing his partner, with whose wife Georgia Merkle (Marsha Mason) he has been having an affair. Amidst this confusion, the sultry Mrs. Montenegro (Madeline Khan) stumbles into Lou's office. She is searching for an ancient treasure --a dozen diamond eggs. Soon Lou finds himself having to deal with a collection of unsavory characters --Jasper Blubber (John Houseman), "The Boy" (Paul Williams), Pepe Damascus (Dom DeLuise)-- who are also looking for the diamond eggs.more
Rating: PG
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Neil Simon
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 13, 2001
Runtime:
Columbia Pictures

Cast

Peter Falk
as Lou Peckinpaugh
Ann-Margret
as Jezebel Dezire
Eileen Brennan
as Betty DeBoop
Sid Caesar
as Ezra Dezire
James Coco
as Marcel
Dom DeLuise
as Pepe Damascus
Louise Fletcher
as Marlene DuChard
John Houseman
as Jasper Blubber
Madeline Kahn
as Mrs. Montenegro
Fernando Lamas
as Paul DuChard
Marsha Mason
as Georgia Merkle
Abe Vigoda
as Sgt. Rizzuto
Nicol Williamson
as Col. Schissel
Emory Bass
as Butler
Carmine Caridi
as Sgt. Crosseti
Vic Tayback
as Lt. DiMaggio
Carole Wells
as Hat-Check Girl
John Calvin
as Qvicker
Barry Michlin
as Bandleader
Zale Kessler
as Courier
Bella Bruck
as Scrub Woman
Henry Sutton
as Desk Clerk
Joe Ross
as Michel
Dean Perry
as Cab Driver
George Rondo
as Cab Driver
Louis H. Kelly
as Croupier #1
Charles Bastin
as Croupier #2
Charles A. Bastin
as Croupier #2
Gary L. Dyer
as Man in Crusades Bar
Steven Fisher
as Man in Crusades Bar
Wally K. Berns
as Floyd Merkle
Laurie Hagen
as Elegant Lady
Lee Menning
as Elegant Lady
Nancy Warren
as Elegant Lady
Nancy Marlowe Coyne
as Lady of the Night
Lynn Griffis
as Lady of the Night
Paula Friel
as Military Wife
Sheila Sisco
as Military Wife
Lauren Simon
as Military Wife
Cindy Lang
as Navy Wife
Tina Ritt
as Army Wife
David Matthau
as Military Man
Gary Alexander
as Military Man
George Simmons
as Detective
Joree Sirianni
as Cigarette Girl
Cornell Chulay
as German Singer
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Cheap Detective

Critic Reviews for The Cheap Detective

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

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

Better received in 1978 than now when it seems too contrived.

December 19, 2005
Video-Reviewmaster.com

Very funny send-up of the hard-boiled detective genre.

November 20, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for The Cheap Detective

½

The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca are where this spoof/send-up begins, turning out little better than a lame Saturday Night Live skit (only running longer), but enjoyable for the charisma of its cast, obviously enjoying a chance at these familiar characters. Falk made a career out of playing a poor man's Bogie, and there's not enough Ann-Margret.

ApeneckFletcher
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Peter Falk's typecasting as a noir detective was never more prominent than in the genre spoof The Cheap Detective. Borrowing heavily from the Humphrey Bogart classics of the past, the film also pays enormous homage to the genre itself while managing to be a great, smart comedy on its own. With a cast that includes Ann-Margaret, Eileen Brennan, Madeline Kahn, Sid Cesar, Dom DeLuise, Louise Fletcher, Paul Williams and Stockard Channing, the movie is so wonderfully colorful in its casting, depsite not being a particularly strong film. It is enjoyable and fun, but lacks the qualities of a perfected comedy classic.

FilmFanatik
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

Yet another detective spoof movie from the 70s?! Yep. Again, we have a fantastic all star cast, and a very funny story. I really liked this movie, even if it isn't very different from other movies like it.

ajv2688
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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