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The Private Eyes [VHS] (1981)

Tim Conway , Don Knotts , Lang Elliott  |  PG |  VHS Tape
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (286 customer reviews)

Price: $37.76
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The Private Eyes [VHS] + The Ghost and Mr. Chicken [VHS]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Tim Conway, Don Knotts, Trisha Noble, Bernard Fox, Grace Zabriskie
  • Directors: Lang Elliott
  • Writers: Tim Conway, John Myhers
  • Producers: Lang Elliott, Wanda Dell
  • Format: Color, Original recording reissued, NTSC, Closed-captioned, Subtitled
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Henstooth Video
  • VHS Release Date: October 10, 2000
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (286 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305976457
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #353,765 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Don Knotts and Tim Conway star in The Private Eyes, a 1980 comedy about two bumbling detectives solving a murder. It's an impressively incompetent affair. Every ancient joke falls with a muffled thud as Knotts and Conway ham their way through the pointless story: The lord and lady of a capacious manor are killed, and the lord's ghost seems to have returned to knock off the staff one by one. There's an austere housekeeper, a snooty butler with compulsive twitches, a sexy upstairs maid, a deformed groomsman, and a buxom young heir to the estate, who of course is going to be in some state of undress before the movie is over. People get killed, their bodies disappear, Knotts and Conway wander aimlessly through secret passageways, dimly seeking some way out of this movie. Conway cowrote the script, so he gets most of the blame; Knotts was probably just happy to have the work. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

Don Knotts and Tim Conway star in The Private Eyes, a 1980 comedy about two bumbling detectives solving a murder. It's an impressively incompetent affair. Every ancient joke falls with a muffled thud as Knotts and Conway ham their way through the pointless story: The lord and lady of a capacious manor are killed, and the lord's ghost seems to have returned to knock off the staff one by one. There's an austere housekeeper, a snooty butler with compulsive twitches, a sexy upstairs maid, a deformed groomsman, and a buxom young heir to the estate, who of course is going to be in some state of undress before the movie is over. People get killed, their bodies disappear, Knotts and Conway wander aimlessly through secret passageways, dimly seeking some way out of this movie. Conway cowrote the script, so he gets most of the blame; Knotts was probably just happy to have the work

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
193 of 195 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't Help But Laugh October 22, 2003
Format:DVD
Buy this flick. You probably saw it on cable 20 years ago, or maybe some goof at the office told you about it. Here's why it's worth owning.
Somewhere along the way Hollywood decided films like 'The Private Eyes' weren't suitable for production. Not being a student of film or pop culture, I'm not really sure why. It probably cost next-to-nothing to make, is thoroughly enjoyable, and is suited for virtually any audience -- one could watch this with grandma or their drinking buddies.
Regardless, the world has changed, so thankfully we have little gems like this to remind us of how things ought to be. So while my buddies can rave about crap like the 'Matrix Returns,' I'll settle down and watch Conway and Knotts bungle their way through 90 minutes of side-splitting joy. Call me corny, but gags like the time pistol, which goes off every hour, or the never-ending supply of homing pigeons (gone awry) are priceless.
Sure, guys like Chris Tucker are funny, but I just can't see them pulling off any bit that doesn't involve dope, profanity, and/or both. That's not a knock on today's comedy, but anyone who's a fan of the art will get a kick out of 'the Private Eyes.'
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74 of 74 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:DVD
First the DVD review: This DVD was/is put out by "Hens Tooth" video. (Hens Tooth?) Features the original theatrical trailer, which in itself is a gem; a wonderful stills gallery featuring behind the scenes making of the movie...priceless! And an awesome commentary by Tim Conway and the Director Lang Elliot who offer tons of little know facts and insight to this classic! This DVD is crisp and clear and so is the sound! The only thing this DVD lacks are the deleted and alternate scenes and alternate angles they showed on TV back in 1984. (see below for details) But, I'm happy to take what they give!
I know this is going to sound odd, but this is my favorite comedy of all time! No question! I have always been a big fan of Tim Conway and Don Knotts! (Who isn't?) Both men are absolute geniuses and have been underused since this movie came out back in 1981. This movie left a huge impression on me when I was a kid! I have always wanted a house just like the one in this movie! Who wouldn't want a 252 room estate! You could almost sleep in a different room for a full year! I was equally impressed when I found out the house in this movie is a real house! It's the Biltmore House and gardens. The real house is in Asheville North Carolina. Although the Biltmore House doesn't have 252 rooms (darn!) it is an absolutely gorgeouse manor! I highly recommend you check out their website! They will even send you a free brochure which pulls out into a mini poster! I have one on my wall right now! Very cool!
Anyways, back to the review...This is one movie that can be shared with the whole family! When this movie came out I was 10 years old and was so impressed by the look of it, the hysterical comedy, the cast, and the mystery storyline!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A couple steps short of perfect.... January 5, 2001
Format:DVD
But let's face it, the fact that this movie made it to DVD is reason to celebrate and it's probably as good as we'll ever get. First things first, I love this film! I just want to comment on some of the technical aspects of the DVD. First of all, the full-screen transfer is beautiful (I don't know if the film was even shot in widescreen)- the colors are so rich and the picture so crisp that it rivals anything produced today. The infamous dark 'secret passage' scenes show every detail - things that just couldn't be seen in an old VHS tape or tv version. The trailer, however, was not given the same treatment as the actual film so don't expect much there. The commentary is a nice bonus with Tim Conway and Lang Elliot reminiscing about the film, providing some insights and lightheartedly goofing on Don Knotts much of the time. There's even a brief mention of how a sequel was planned at one time! For some reason, their commentary assumes you are watching the film for the first time so they purposely don't 'give away' anything, which unfortunately hinders their dialogue a bit. The addition of subtitles during the commentary is something that would have been nice as well. Aside from that, there is a slide show which is nice, although I would have much preferred a cast bio as it really is a nice ensemble. Finally, and this is what prevents this being a 5 star film - the movie is missing a major scene! The classic dinner scene where Dr. Tart gets beaten up by Phyllis is inexplicably nowhere to be found. Classic lines like "You told me we were having pork. How dare you trick me!" "I'll give you 5 bucks if you don't tell her the peas are canned." Also gone is the scene where Tart releases one of his homing pigeons, but the wings stick to his hands. Read more ›
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58 of 70 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great family film....but this DVD is the pits. July 20, 2005
Format:DVD
I loved this film as a kid, and if you want something to watch with the family you don't have to go any further. Great family entertainment. BUT this DVD sucks. It's a bad pan & scan, mediocre video, okay audio, and no extras. It's very expensive for such a shoddy DVD. I'd skip it for now because the rights should revert and a new version out in a year or so.
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Details on the Blu-ray restoration and deleted scenes:
A classic film. Still have my copy on DVD. A darn shame about the deleted scenes. Can't wait to see it in HD. Waiting for a slight drop in price.
Feb 12, 2011 by spaceboy |  See all 2 posts
Finally!
GWTW is the one of the most overrated films of all time and is always on television. I much rather purchase the rarely seen so-called "B" movie.
Apr 14, 2013 by Nancy E. Nolan |  See all 3 posts
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