The Cheap Detective
|The Cheap Detective|
|Directed by||Robert Moore|
|Produced by||Ray Stark|
|Written by||Neil Simon|
|Music by||Patrick Williams|
|Cinematography||John A. Alonzo|
|Edited by||Sidney Levin|
Michael A. Stevenson
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
The ensemble cast includes Madeline Kahn, Louise Fletcher, Ann-Margret, Eileen Brennan, Stockard Channing, Marsha Mason, Sid Caesar, John Houseman, Dom DeLuise, Abe Vigoda, James Coco, Phil Silvers, Fernando Lamas, Nicol Williamson, Scatman Crothers, Vic Tayback and Paul Williams.
Lou Peckinpaugh (Peter Falk), a bumbling San Francisco private detective, tries to prove himself innocent of his partner's murder while helping a bizarre array of characters recover a lost treasure.
- Peter Falk as Lou Peckinpaugh
- Madeline Kahn as Mrs. Montenegro
- Dom DeLuise as Pepe Damascus
- Louise Fletcher as Marlene DuChard
- Ann-Margret as Jezebel Dezire
- Eileen Brennan as Betty DeBoop
- Stockard Channing as Bess
- Sid Caesar as Ezra Dezire
- Marsha Mason as Georgia Merkle
- John Houseman as Jasper Blubber
- Vic Tayback as Lieutenant DiMaggio
- Abe Vigoda as Sgt. Rizzuto
- Carmine Caridi as Sgt. Crosetti
- James Coco as Marcel
- Phil Silvers as Hoppy
- Fernando Lamas as Paul DuChard
- Nicol Williamson as Col. Schlissel
- James Cromwell as Schnell
- Scatman Crothers as Tinker
- Paul Williams as Boy
- David Ogden Stiers as Captain
- John Calvin as Qvicker
The film grossed $5,113,743 in its opening weekend from 648 theaters, finishing third for the weekend behind Grease and Jaws 2 in their second weekends. Film critic Roger Ebert stated that "If you loved 'The Maltese Falcon' and can recite all the best lines from 'Casablanca' by heart, you'll hate 'The Cheap Detective', which is basically just the year's classiest and most expensive rip-off."
Ed Mintz founded CinemaScore in 1979 after disliking The Cheap Detective despite being a fan of Neil Simon, and hearing another disappointed attendee wanting to hear the opinions of ordinary people instead of critics.
- Murder by Death – a 1976 film featuring Falk as a similar character (another Sam Spade parody) that was written by Simon and directed by Moore.
- "The Cheap Detective, Box Office Information". The Numbers. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
- Canby, Vincent (June 23, 1978). "Screen: Simon's 'Cheap' Detective':Everybody Revisited". The New York Times.
- TV Guide
- "'Jaws 2', 'Grease', Get Hot Rival, 'Cheap Detective'". Variety. June 28, 1978. p. 6.
- Roger Ebert.com
- Lawrence, Christopher (2016-08-30). "Las Vegan's polling company keeps tabs on Hollywood". Vegas Voices (story series). Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
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