Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Gumshoe (1971)

Offbeat Detective Movie #4 (Please click the links to read my reviews of The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep, both of which were huge influences on this film) 
Synopsis: Goofy gumshoe Ginley gets girl, gun, grand. 
Blurb From the DVD Jacket: “Eddie Ginley (Albert Finney) is a comedian turned private eye who gets into hot water when he meets a fat man (George Silver) and a femme fatale (Janice Rule). Armed with only rapid-fire banter and a sharpened instinct, Ginley must save the dame from a drug smuggling ring before the joke’s on him.” 
What Did I Learn?: Firearms were apparently worthless in Liverpool, circa 1971, because it wasn’t a “gun town.” 
You Might Like This Movie If: you'll watch anything from 1971.
Really?: 1) See: “What Did I Learn?” (I realize Britain was a very different place 45-50 years ago, but wouldn’t somebody in Liverpool be interested in purchasing a snub-nose .38, if only to resell it?). 2) So, Ginley hits Straker the hitman in the legs with a chair and runs away, and yet Strake somehow manages to catch up to him soon afterwards and he doesn’t even have a limp. 
Rating: Gumshoe is an enjoyable, if forgettable and rather dated salute to 1940s film noir detective moves. Gumshoe more-or-less works, thanks to Albert Finney’s smooth-and-upbeat performance as the loveable loser Ginley (unfortunately, he’s so upbeat that the viewer could be forgiven for thinking he never seems to be in much danger). The film is marred by a confusing, and highly convoluted plot, and a surprising lack of suspense. Check it out if you want to see what Liverpool, England looked like in the tail end of the 1960s. 7/10 stars.

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