The Cheap Detective - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Cheap Detective Reviews

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½ November 16, 2010
A good and entertaining comedy.
March 24, 2010
One of the earlier "naked gun" type movies. A very funny movie indeed.
November 4, 2009
It doesn't speak well for this movie that an hour after I saw it, I can barely remember what happened in it. Neil Simon's dialogue is best suited to real characters with real personalities... in spoof, it becomes oddly larger-than-life. This movie seems so determined to be funny that it forgets to actually BE funny. It attempts too many take-offs on specific movies, rather than overall cliches and stereotypes, and just leads to silliness. And not the good kind. More looks of disdain than laughs here. Very disappointing.
Super Reviewer
October 22, 2009
A laugh a minute!!!!
July 9, 2009
muy graciosa, de nei simmon

* ver murdered by murder tambien
½ March 23, 2009
It could have been a lot better. Dragged a bit in the middle unfortunately. Simon can do much better.
March 6, 2009
A fantastic parody of the classic Bogart movies from Neil Simon.
February 15, 2009
Overall, the movie was a nice comedic film with a slew of cameos throughout, including a number of people from Simon's earlier who-dun-it, Murder By Death.
½ February 10, 2009
A great detective spoof filled with stars. At times, it runs a bit dry, but for the most part the laughs keep coming.
November 20, 2008
While not as funny as Murder by Death, this movie is certainly entertaining. It parodies great films like The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, and Chinatown, but out of complete love and respect. A great cast headlined by Peter Falk. I'd recommend this to any fans of Mel Brooks. This and Murder by Death are both very funny and oft overlooked parody films.
½ November 20, 2008
hard boiled dick / noir send up that has a crazy cast and nuts-o script. in fact this movie is so manic that it almost resembles a looney toons cartoon in spots. however, the jokes (some spot on, some total misfires) don't come quite fast enough and the whole thing just sort of limps threw the run time.....
September 13, 2008
This is the second movie I've seen with Peter Falk as Humphrey Bogart, the second Neil Simon movie involving the pair. I haven't seen it in a while, but as I remember, [i]Murder by Death[/i] is funnier. For one, there's no Truman Capote in this one, and Truman Capote's performance is so delightful in the other. For another, it's a one-joke movie, and the joke doesn't really last that long. It is a sad truth that no one seems to get--a parody, in order to truly work, must not stick too much to one specific target for too long. Further, you must choose your target wisely. If no one's going to care about your target in five years, odds are pretty good that no one cares about your movie now. There are exceptions--the Zuckers tend to do well in narrower parodies--but I don't think anyone's going to remember the latest spate of parody movies next year.

Floyd Merkle (Wally Berns) has been killed, leaving his partner, Lou Peckinpaugh (Falk), as the prime suspect. This isn't helped by the lovely widow Georgia (Marsha Mason), who swans around in black saying incriminating things in front of her police escort. There is also she of the many names (Madeline Kahn doing the Mary Astor role from [i]The Maltese Falcon[/i]), who may have killed Merkle and is definitely trying to enlist Peckinpaugh for something. Peckinpaugh (an obvious play on the director Sam Peckinpah) also has a long-lost love, Marlene DuChard (Louise Fletcher as Ingrid Bergman in [i]Casablanca[/i]) and a new-found love (I [i]think[/i] this is Eileen Brennan, but I can't figure out who she's supposed to be playing), Betty DeBoop (probably.) There's also Ann-Margret as the devilish Jezebel Dezire (Lauren Bacall from [i]The Big Sleep[/i]).

The parodies work as far as they go, and the filming, et cetera, aren't bad. Actually, some of the atmosphere is quite charmingly captured, though I think Marlene is a very bad Ilse. I also think a lot of their costumes are wrong. Of course, it's hard to get Humphrey Bogart's traditional Sam Spade garb wrong, and Peter Falk's been wearing variations of it in most of his career--where do you think Columbo gets that jacket? And certainly there's a star-studded cast, here. But it doesn't really work. I wish it did. But it doesn't.

The thing is, you have to keep track of this movie on two levels. On the one, there is what's happening in the movie. This is easier to lose track of, because one gets the impression that Simon doesn't care, either. It's all intended to play on those movies that we all know, which means it's starting to fail as fewer and fewer people really get into old Bogart movies. You'll notice that there's at least one that I didn't get, and there's probably more. I'm not sure if Stockard Channing's Bess is supposed to be anyone in particular, either. You see, he's passing out of the public conciousness, sad to say. Bogart was a better actor than a lot of people who are and will probably remain more popular than he--someone somewhere is [i]always[/i] watching a John Wayne movie, and AMC played [i]Planet of the Apes[/i] today--but ask yourself one thing. When was the last time [i]you[/i] watched [i]Casablanca[/i]?
½ August 30, 2008
a well twisted yet amusing film
August 28, 2008
If you love Bogart, you'll love Peter Falk in the cheap detective. The bumbling Private Eye who tries to be Marlowe and Spade but just ends up being confused is just what a film needs to be thoroughly entertained for an hour and a half. The laughs flow like the whiskey, so get drunk on them.
August 23, 2008
An entertaining enough spoof with more than a few good lines, which has to be the main reason to watch as it reads more in an exercise on parody than story.
August 16, 2008
if you liked Clue and Murder by Death, you'll like this comedy/mystery too; it's almost as interesting and entertaining. It's written by Neil Simon and has an all-star cast, headed by Peter Falk (Columbo). IMDB gives it a 6.1, I give it a 5.5.
July 28, 2008
With an all-star cast and paroding hits of Bogart like The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca this was sure to be funny. Indeed it was and of course Peter Falk was great as the detective (when is he not? Colombu anyone?). Not really memerable in the long run but a fun way to spend a hour and a half.
May 31, 2008
For a movie with such a large cast of comedy gems, there weren't a lot of big laughs. The movie was more AMUSING than funny. I loved the improbability of the plot, I loved all the film references, and I loved the resolution (and its own set if improbabilities). Sadly, my favorite part of the movie were the innovative open credts, as the rest of the movie failed to live up to that level of innovation.
½ May 2, 2008
Murder by Death was a witty parody..this is more on the lines of a stupid slapstick parody, probably the first ever and made way for Airplane! 2 years later. It basically makes fun of Humphrey Bogart films and the best joke is how everybody dies smiling and stuck in the pose they had when they were shot.
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