As in his 1977 film THE LATE SHOW, Robert Benton focuses on a private detective who's playing the back nine. With the passing of a quarter century, however, the director's tone had grown more somber. Paul Newman stars as the detective, Harry Ross, living in semiretirement in Santa Monica on the estate owned by his movie-star friends, Jack (Gene Hackman) and Catherine Ames (Susan Sarandon).
When Harry delivers a package as a favor to Jack, he finds fellow private dick Lester Ivar (M. Emmett Walsh) dying from a bullet wound. Harry checks out Ivar's apartment, where he uncovers 20-year-old clippings relating to the disappearance of Catherine's first husband. As he tries to get to the bottom of the case, he enlists the help of a former lover, LAPD lt. Verna Hollander (Stockard Channing), and receives unsolicited assistance from feckless chauffeur Reuben Escobar (Giancarlo Esposito). Ex-cop and former studio security chief Raymond Hope (James Garner) also seems to know a thing or two about the case.
Strong ensemble acting and Benton's characteristically nuanced and intelligent writing highlight this sinuous, richly textured murder mystery.
- Region 4
- Standard Edition
- 1.78 : 1
- Dolby Digital Surround 5.1
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