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Lew Harper (Newman) is a rumpled, world-weary private detective who's in the middle of a divorce from his wife Susan (Creator/JanetLeigh). His friend Albert Graves (Arthur Hill), an attorney, brings him a job. Albert's client, Ralph Sampson, has disappeared. Samspon's embittered ex-wife Elaine (Creator/LaurenBacall) certainly doesn't care if Ralph lives or dies, but hires Harper out of a sense of obligation more than anything else. Sure enough, Samspon has been kidnapped. Harper is drawn into a mystery that involves Samspon's sexy daughter Miranda (Pamela Tiffin), his pilot/flunkie Allan Taggert (Creator/RobertWagner), a drug-addicted nightclub singer named Betty Fraley (Julie Harris), all-around sleazeball Dwight Troy (Robert Webber), and Troy's sad alcoholic wife, former actress Fay Estabrook (Creator/ShelleyWinters).

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Lew Harper (Newman) is a rumpled, world-weary private detective who's in the middle of a divorce from his wife Susan (Creator/JanetLeigh). His friend Albert Graves (Arthur Hill), an attorney, brings him a job. Albert's client, Ralph Sampson, has disappeared. Samspon's embittered ex-wife Elaine (Creator/LaurenBacall) certainly doesn't care if Ralph lives or dies, but hires Harper out of a sense of obligation more than anything else. Sure enough, Samspon has been kidnapped.

Harper is finds himself drawn into a mystery that involves involving Samspon's sexy daughter Miranda (Pamela Tiffin), his pilot/flunkie Allan Taggert (Creator/RobertWagner), a drug-addicted nightclub singer named Betty Fraley (Julie Harris), (Creator/JulieHarris), all-around sleazeball Dwight Troy (Robert Webber), and Troy's sad alcoholic wife, former actress Fay Estabrook (Creator/ShelleyWinters).


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[[quoteright:300:https://static.[[quoteright:305:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/harper_movie_poster_1966.jpg]]


Lew Harper (Newman) is a rumpled, world-weary private detective who's in the middle of a divorce from his wife Susan (Creator/JanetLeigh). His friend Albert Graves (Arthur Hill), an attorney, brings him a job. Albert's client, Ralph Sampson, has disappeared. Samspon's embittered ex-wife Elaine (Creator/LaurenBacall) certainly doesn't care if Ralph lives or dies, but hires Harper out of a sense of obligation more than anything else. Sure enough, Samspon has been kidnapped. Harper is drawn into a mystery that involves Samspon's sexy daughter Miranda (Pamela Tiffin), his pilot/flunkie Allan Taggert (Creator/RobertWagner), a drug-addicted nightclub singer named Betty Fraley (Julie Harris), all-around sleazeball Dwight Troy (Robert Webber), and Troy's sad alcoholic wife, former actress Fay Estabrook (Shelley Winters).

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Lew Harper (Newman) is a rumpled, world-weary private detective who's in the middle of a divorce from his wife Susan (Creator/JanetLeigh). His friend Albert Graves (Arthur Hill), an attorney, brings him a job. Albert's client, Ralph Sampson, has disappeared. Samspon's embittered ex-wife Elaine (Creator/LaurenBacall) certainly doesn't care if Ralph lives or dies, but hires Harper out of a sense of obligation more than anything else. Sure enough, Samspon has been kidnapped. Harper is drawn into a mystery that involves Samspon's sexy daughter Miranda (Pamela Tiffin), his pilot/flunkie Allan Taggert (Creator/RobertWagner), a drug-addicted nightclub singer named Betty Fraley (Julie Harris), all-around sleazeball Dwight Troy (Robert Webber), and Troy's sad alcoholic wife, former actress Fay Estabrook (Shelley Winters).
(Creator/ShelleyWinters).


* TheHeavy: Dwight Troy. He's a sadistic crime boss who [[spoiler:is running a human trafficking ring]] in the middle of Los Angeles, makes several attempts on Harper's life, tortures [[spoiler:Betty]], and is the prime suspect in Ralph Sampson's disappearance. [[spoiler:However, he's not the kidnapper of Ralph Sampson, or the killer. In fact, Sampson was his accomplice]].

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* TheHeavy: Dwight Troy. He's a sadistic crime boss gangster who [[spoiler:is running a human trafficking ring]] in the middle of Los Angeles, makes several attempts on Harper's life, tortures [[spoiler:Betty]], and is the prime suspect in Ralph Sampson's disappearance. [[spoiler:However, he's not the kidnapper of Ralph Sampson, or the killer. In fact, Sampson was his accomplice]].

Added DiffLines:

** Alfred is introduced doing exercises in his office, which make him look quite dorky compared to Harper.
** We first see Elaine lounging in her mansion, establishing her wealth and catty nature.
** [[FilleFatale Miranda]] is first seen dancing in a bikini by the pool.
** Harper finds [[LadyDrunk Fay Estabrook]] drinking in a bar.
** [[TheHeavy Dwight Troy]] appears in a doorway, holding a gun on Harper and threatening him.

Added DiffLines:

* FauxAffablyEvil: Dwight Troy acts pleasant and jovial to everyone he meets, but the sadism and cruelty underneath are always apparent.


Added DiffLines:

* VerbalTic: Dwight Troy fakes an English accent so as to sound sophisticated, and calls everyone he meets "Old Stick".


* TheHeavy: Dwight Troy. He's a sadistic crime boss who [[spoilers:is running a human trafficking ring]] in the middle of Los Angeles, makes several attempts on Harper's life, tortures [[spoiler:Betty]], and is the most unambiguously evil character in the entire film. [[spoiler:However, he's not the kidnapper of Ralph Sampson, or the killer. In fact, Sampson was his accomplice]].

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* HateSink: Dwight Troy, a sleazy crime boss who tries to kill Harper several times and tortures [[spoiler:Betty]]. He's easily the most unambiguously evil character in the entire film, with no friendships or any FreudianExcuse for his behavior. [[spoiler:Ralph Sampson, the victim, also counts. As the film progresses, we learn that he was despised by his family for his cruelty, and was helping Dwight Troy run an illegal immigrant trafficking ring]].
* TheHeavy: Dwight Troy. He's a sadistic crime boss who [[spoilers:is [[spoiler:is running a human trafficking ring]] in the middle of Los Angeles, makes several attempts on Harper's life, tortures [[spoiler:Betty]], and is the most unambiguously evil character prime suspect in the entire film.Ralph Sampson's disappearance. [[spoiler:However, he's not the kidnapper of Ralph Sampson, or the killer. In fact, Sampson was his accomplice]].


* TheHeavy: Dwight Troy. He's a sadistic crime boss who [[spoilers:is running a human trafficking ring]] in the middle of Los Angeles, makes several attempts on Harper's life, tortures [[spoiler:Betty]], and is the most unambiguously evil character in the entire film. [[spoiler:However, he's not the kidnapper of Ralph Sampson, or the killer. In fact, Sampson was his accomplice]].



* PrivateDetective: Lew Harper

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* PrivateDetective: Lew HarperHarper.


Lew Harper (Newman) is a rumpled, world-weary private detective who's in the middle of a divorce from his wife Susan (Creator/JanetLeigh). His friend Albert Graves (Arthur Hill), an attorney, brings him a job. Albert's client, Ralph Sampson, has disappeared. Samson's embittered ex-wife Elaine (Creator/LaurenBacall) certainly doesn't care if Ralph lives or dies, but hires Harper out of a sense of obligation more than anything else. Sure enough, Samspon has been kidnapped. Harper is drawn into a mystery that involves Samspon's sexy daughter Miranda (Pamela Tiffin), his pilot/flunkie Allan Taggert (Creator/RobertWagner), a drug-addicted nightclub singer named Betty Fraley (Julie Harris), all-around sleazeball Dwight Troy (Robert Webber), and Troy's sad alcoholic wife, former actress Fay Estabrook (Shelley Winters).

to:

Lew Harper (Newman) is a rumpled, world-weary private detective who's in the middle of a divorce from his wife Susan (Creator/JanetLeigh). His friend Albert Graves (Arthur Hill), an attorney, brings him a job. Albert's client, Ralph Sampson, has disappeared. Samson's Samspon's embittered ex-wife Elaine (Creator/LaurenBacall) certainly doesn't care if Ralph lives or dies, but hires Harper out of a sense of obligation more than anything else. Sure enough, Samspon has been kidnapped. Harper is drawn into a mystery that involves Samspon's sexy daughter Miranda (Pamela Tiffin), his pilot/flunkie Allan Taggert (Creator/RobertWagner), a drug-addicted nightclub singer named Betty Fraley (Julie Harris), all-around sleazeball Dwight Troy (Robert Webber), and Troy's sad alcoholic wife, former actress Fay Estabrook (Shelley Winters).


Lew Harper (Newman) is a rumpled, world-weary detective in the middle of a divorce from his wife Susan (Creator/JanetLeigh). His friend Albert Graves (Arthur Hill), an attorney, brings him a job. Albert's client, Ralph Sampson, has disappeared. Samson's embittered ex-wife Elaine (Creator/LaurenBacall) certainly doesn't care if Ralph lives or dies, but hires Harper out of a sense of obligation more than anything else. Sure enough, Samspon has been kidnapped. Harper is drawn into a mystery that involves Samspon's sexy daughter Miranda (Pamela Tiffin), his pilot/flunkie Allan Taggert (Creator/RobertWagner), a drug-addicted nightclub singer named Betty Fraley (Julie Harris), all-around sleazeball Dwight Troy (Robert Webber), and Troy's sad alcoholic wife, former actress Fay Estabrook (Shelley Winters).

to:

Lew Harper (Newman) is a rumpled, world-weary private detective who's in the middle of a divorce from his wife Susan (Creator/JanetLeigh). His friend Albert Graves (Arthur Hill), an attorney, brings him a job. Albert's client, Ralph Sampson, has disappeared. Samson's embittered ex-wife Elaine (Creator/LaurenBacall) certainly doesn't care if Ralph lives or dies, but hires Harper out of a sense of obligation more than anything else. Sure enough, Samspon has been kidnapped. Harper is drawn into a mystery that involves Samspon's sexy daughter Miranda (Pamela Tiffin), his pilot/flunkie Allan Taggert (Creator/RobertWagner), a drug-addicted nightclub singer named Betty Fraley (Julie Harris), all-around sleazeball Dwight Troy (Robert Webber), and Troy's sad alcoholic wife, former actress Fay Estabrook (Shelley Winters).


Added DiffLines:

* PrivateDetective: Lew Harper


Lew Harper (Newman) is a rumpled, world-weary detective in the middle of a divorce from his wife Susan (Creator/JanetLeigh). His friend Albert Graves (Arthur Hill), an attorney, brings him a job. Albert's client, Ralph Sampson, has disappeared. Samson's embittered ex-wife Elaine (Creator/LaurenBacall) certainly doesn't care if Ralph lives or dies, but hires Harper out of a sense of obligation more than anything else. Sure enough, Samson has been kidnapped. Harper is drawn into a mystery that involves Samson's sexy daughter Miranda, Samson's pilot/flunkie Allan Taggert (Creator/RobertWagner), a drug-addicted nightclub singer named Betty Fraley (Julie Harris), all-around sleazeball Dwight Troy, and Troy's sad alcoholic wife, former actress Fay Estabrook (Shelley Winters).

to:

Lew Harper (Newman) is a rumpled, world-weary detective in the middle of a divorce from his wife Susan (Creator/JanetLeigh). His friend Albert Graves (Arthur Hill), an attorney, brings him a job. Albert's client, Ralph Sampson, has disappeared. Samson's embittered ex-wife Elaine (Creator/LaurenBacall) certainly doesn't care if Ralph lives or dies, but hires Harper out of a sense of obligation more than anything else. Sure enough, Samson Samspon has been kidnapped. Harper is drawn into a mystery that involves Samson's Samspon's sexy daughter Miranda, Samson's Miranda (Pamela Tiffin), his pilot/flunkie Allan Taggert (Creator/RobertWagner), a drug-addicted nightclub singer named Betty Fraley (Julie Harris), all-around sleazeball Dwight Troy, Troy (Robert Webber), and Troy's sad alcoholic wife, former actress Fay Estabrook (Shelley Winters).

Added DiffLines:

* CastingGag
** For this film which bears an obvious debt to '40s FilmNoir in general and the film version of ''Film/TheBigSleep'' in particular, the producers got none other than Creator/LaurenBacall to play the part of Sampson's cynical wife.
** For the part of a former hot blonde sexpot actress who got fat, the producers hired Shelley Winters, a former hot blonde sexpot actress who got fat. (The difference of course being that Winters was still enjoying a thriving career.)


Lew Harper (Newman) is a rumpled, world-weary detective in the middle of a divorce from his wife Susan (Creator/JanetLeigh). His friend Albert Graves (Arthur Hill), an attorney, brings him a job. Albert's client, Ralph Sampson, has disappeared. Samson's embittered ex-wife Elaine (Creator/LaurenBacall) certainly doesn't care if Ralph lives or dies, but hires Harper out of a sense of obligation more than anything else. Sure enough, Samson has been kidnapped. Harper is drawn into a mystery that involves Samson's sexy daughter Miranda, Samson's pilot/flunkie Allan Taggert (Robert Wagner), a drug-addicted nightclub singer named Betty Fraley (Julie Harris), all-around sleazeball Dwight Troy, and Troy's sad alcoholic wife, former actress Fay Estabrook (Shelley Winters).

to:

Lew Harper (Newman) is a rumpled, world-weary detective in the middle of a divorce from his wife Susan (Creator/JanetLeigh). His friend Albert Graves (Arthur Hill), an attorney, brings him a job. Albert's client, Ralph Sampson, has disappeared. Samson's embittered ex-wife Elaine (Creator/LaurenBacall) certainly doesn't care if Ralph lives or dies, but hires Harper out of a sense of obligation more than anything else. Sure enough, Samson has been kidnapped. Harper is drawn into a mystery that involves Samson's sexy daughter Miranda, Samson's pilot/flunkie Allan Taggert (Robert Wagner), (Creator/RobertWagner), a drug-addicted nightclub singer named Betty Fraley (Julie Harris), all-around sleazeball Dwight Troy, and Troy's sad alcoholic wife, former actress Fay Estabrook (Shelley Winters).


* BadToTheLastDrop: In the opening scene, Harper, realizing he is out of coffee, makes a cup from yesterday's coffee grounds, which he fishes out of the garbage. Judging by his grimace, the reuslt is not good.

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* BadToTheLastDrop: In the opening scene, Harper, realizing he is out of coffee, makes a cup from yesterday's coffee grounds, which he fishes out of the garbage. Judging by his grimace, the reuslt result is not good.



* ColdBloodedTorture: Dwight Troy resorts to burning Betty's feet with a cigarette to make her reveal where the ransom money is hidden.

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* ColdBloodedTorture: Dwight [[spoiler:Dwight Troy resorts to burning Betty's feet with a cigarette to make her reveal where the ransom money is hidden.]]



* DisneyVillainDeath: Harper's fight with a bad guy in a warehouse that's storing ship anchors ends with the bad guy falling from a catwalk onto the anchors below.

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* DisneyVillainDeath: Harper's [[spoiler:Harper's fight with a bad guy in a warehouse that's storing ship anchors ends with the bad guy falling from a catwalk onto the anchors below.]]



* GoingByTheMatchbook: Harper pulls a matchbook out of the pocket of the dead guy who came for the ransom money. It leads him to the nightclub where Betty Fraley is performing.
* TheGhost: Ralph Sampson, millionaire, crook, bad husband, and dirtbag, discussed at length, but never seen.
* InstantDeathBullet: Both Dwight Troy and Allen Taggert die instantly after being shot in the torso.

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* GoingByTheMatchbook: Harper pulls a matchbook out of the pocket of [[spoiler:Eddie]], the dead guy who came for the ransom money. It leads him to the nightclub where Betty Fraley is performing.
* TheGhost: Ralph Sampson, millionaire, crook, bad husband, and dirtbag, discussed at length, but never seen.
seen [[spoiler:alive]].
* InstantDeathBullet: Both [[spoiler:Both Dwight Troy and Allen Taggert Taggert]] die instantly after being shot in the torso.



* LeftHanging: In the last scene Alfred confesses, saying he killed Sampson basically on impulse after finding Sampson--a bad person and all-around monster who was thoroughly hated by his daughter Miranda--tied up on the boat where he was left by the kidnappers. Harper says he has to turn Alfred in, whereupon Alfred says he'll have to shoot Harper. Harper gets out of the car, and Alfred pulls his gun. Alfred can't bring himself to shoot Harper, though, saying "Oh hell", and lowering his gun. Harper says "Oh hell" as well, and raises his arms in frustration--freeze frame. TheEnd.
* LetOffByTheDetective: Maybe. See LeftHanging above.

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* LeftHanging: In [[spoiler:In the last scene Alfred confesses, saying he killed Sampson basically on impulse after finding Sampson--a bad person and all-around monster who was thoroughly hated by his daughter Miranda--tied up on the boat where he was left by the kidnappers. Harper says he has to turn Alfred in, whereupon Alfred says he'll have to shoot Harper. Harper gets out of the car, and Alfred pulls his gun. Alfred can't bring himself to shoot Harper, though, saying "Oh hell", and lowering his gun. Harper says "Oh hell" as well, and raises his arms in frustration--freeze frame. ]] TheEnd.
* LetOffByTheDetective: Maybe. [[spoiler:Maybe.]] See LeftHanging above.



* WickedStepmother: Elaine and Miranda hate the hell out of each other. Miranda accuses her stepmother of faking her paralysis. Elaine's face shines with malevolent glee when she's about to tell Miranda that her father is dead.

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* WickedStepmother: Elaine and Miranda hate the hell out of each other. Miranda accuses her stepmother of faking her paralysis. Elaine's face shines with malevolent glee when she's about to tell Miranda that her [[spoiler:her father is dead.]]

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