|HARPER (director: Jack Smight; screenwriter: William Goldman/based on the novel The Moving Target' by Ross McDonald; cinematographer: Conrad Hall; editor: Stefan Arnsten; music: Johnny Mandel; cast: Paul Newman (Lew Harper), Lauren Bacall (Elaine Sampson), Julie Harris (Betty Fraley), Arthur Hill (Albert Graves), Janet Leigh (Susan Harper), Shelley Winters (Fay Estabrook), Strother Martin (Claude), Robert Wagner (Alan Taggert), Pamela Tiffin (Miranda), Robert Webber (Dwight Troy), Harold Gould (Sheriff); Runtime: 121; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Jerry Gershwin/Elliott Kastner; Warner DVD; 1966)|
Paul Newman crime mystery drama."
by Dennis Schwartz
Smight ("No Way to Treat A Lady"/"Airport"/"The Illustrated Man")
effortlessly directs in a breezy way this minor
Chandler-like film noir. It's a star-driven Paul
Newman crime mystery drama, that's based on
the novel The Moving Target' by Ross McDonald. It's
written by William Goldman. Ross
Macdonald started in 1949 writing this
detective series using as his hero detective Lew
Archer. Because of Newman's request, Archer was
changed to Harper for the movie.
LA, the lush downtrodden private detective, Lew
Harper (Paul Newman), facing a divorce from his wife
Susan (Janet Leigh), on
the suggestion of his attorney friend Albert Graves
(Arthur Hill), is hired by the acerbic crippled
millionaire Elaine Sampson (Lauren Bacall) to find
her missing husband. At Elaine's estate Harper is
introduced to her
his investigation Harper encounters an aging former
starlet now an alcoholic, Fay Estabrook (Shelley
Winters), her violent hubby (Robert
Webber), a drug-addicted singer named
Betty Fraley (Julie Harris) and the
religious nut Claude (Strother Martin) living on a mountaintop
site given him by Mr. Sampson.
works as simple-minded entertainment.
REVIEWED ON 10/29/2014 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ