Poster for The Late Show

The Late Show

1977, Comedy/Drama, 1h 34m

36 Reviews 1,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Deft direction from Robert Benton and a perfect pair in Art Carney and Lily Tomlin make The Late Show a solidly savory neo-noir treat. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Private detective Ira Wells (Art Carney) isn't getting any younger. He's also barely staying in business. So when Ira's former partner, Harry, is killed, Ira vows to not only take on Harry's last job, but also find his friend's murderer. While trying to crack Harry's case, Ira is introduced to Margo (Lily Tomlin), an eccentric pot-selling agent who wants to hire him to find her cat. Desperate for the work, Ira takes on the pet search and winds up with an unexpected new partner in Margo.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for The Late Show

Audience Reviews for The Late Show

  • Oct 07, 2021
    Maybe the oddest of the oddball neo-noirs. The plot isn't all that interesting but the movie knows that. These characters are why we are invested with Tomlin and Carney's hilarious and enduring duo at the heart of the whole thing.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 11, 2010
    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 R Super Reviewer
  • Dec 20, 2008
    Charming crime comedy with Carney and Tomlin a wonderfully off beat pair, their chemistry makes this a delight. A real sleeper.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Apr 01, 2008
    Nice bit of Film Noir with Carney as an aging PI getting mixed up with the nutty Lily Tomlin to find who killed his former partner. Plot may sound familiar, but it's all in how it is pulled off, plus the chemistry of the stars. Much more violent than expected, but that just adds to the gritty realism. Highly recommended for fans of the genre and for fans of the two stars.
    Anthony V Super Reviewer

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