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 sharpened instinct, Ginley must save the dame from a drug smuggling ring before the joke's on him. Paying homage to Bogart, Chandler and Hammett, Gumshoe puts a clever spin on the classic detective tale.Oscar nominees Albert Finney (2000, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Erin Brockovich) and Stephen Frears (1990, Best Director, The Grifters) are partners in crime in this sleuth spoof that features Janice Rule, Billie Whitelaw and Wendy Richard.
This little British gem is a must-have for all fans of hard-boiled detective films--and their spoofs. Gumshoe
actually succeeds at being both--a sendup of classic '40s Raymond Chandler masterpieces, but particularly cheeky in that singular English manner. Albert Finney plays a struggling comedian who, on a lark, decides to place an ad as a private eye ("no divorce work"). Finney affects just about every classic tic of the genre: the side-of-the-mouth delivery, the world-weary outlook ("It was the kind of a place where you needed a black tie just to take a bath"), the quip-for-quip dialogue. But then he’s sucked right into the world he’s been dancing around, complete with murder plots, drug smuggling, blowzy dames, and too-close calls. Finney’s believable as a real private dick, and is also subtly hilarious sending up the genre. The film was directed by a young Stephen Frears, and his deft touch keeps the sometimes out-there plot moving forward confidently. And Andrew Lloyd Webber provides the memorable score, which film music fans will recognize as an homage to the theme of the all-time great film noir masterpiece Sunset Boulevard
. Sam Spade would be proud. --A.T. Hurley Stills from Gumshoe (Click for larger image)