Gumshoe – 1971 | 88mins | Comedy, Thriller | Colour
Stephen Frear’s debut feature is part pastiche and part traditional thriller. Despite its parody approach, Gumshoe works surprisingly well and comes off as an affectionate tribute to The Maltese Falcon ands the hardboiled noir films of yore. Produced by Finney’s own company.
A Liverpudlian comedian and bingo-caller, Eddie Ginley (Albert Finney), fantasizes of becoming a private eye in the style of Raymond Chandler’s gumshoe Philip Marlowe. Ginley’s level-headed brother (Frank Finlay) and ex-girlfriend (Billie Whitelaw) try to talk him out of it but he inadvertently stumbles across a real-life murder mystery.
Acting out his daydream, he advertise his services as a private investigator and in a little while he’s involved in a complex mystery when hired by the mysterious Fat Man (George Silver). After receiving a package containing a photo of a young woman (Carolyn Seymour), a gun and a thousand pounds – Finney becomes immersed in an extraordinarily convoluted mystery from Liverpool to London involving drug smuggling, gun running and African politics.
Stephen Frears: Director
Chris Menges: Cinematography
Daphne Dare: Costume Design
Charles Rees: Film Editing
Bob Lawrance: Makeup Department
Susie Hill: Makeup Department
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Original Music
Michael Medwin: Producer
Michael Seymour: Production Design
Neville Smith: Script
Rodney Holland: Sound Department
Doug E Turner: Sound Department
Christian Wangler: Sound Department
Peter Maxwell: Sound Department