I’d heard a lot about this film, but had never seen it until this morning. It teamed two of my favorites from I Spy, Cosby and Culp, as a pair of aging private eyes beset by money troubles, spousal problems, and alcohol in this 1972 film. Early in the picture, they are trying to decide whether to pay the phone bill or their answering service.
Then they seem to get an easy case that will pay well: a foppish man named Rice wants them to find his girl friend. He doesn’t bat an eye at their price, two hundred a day plus expenses, giving them five hundred as a retainer, as well as a list of her known acquaintances. The first one is dead and things go down hill fast, soon turning into something more as they are besieged from all sides: a trio of hoodlums(one of them Bill Hickman, the Charger driver in the Bullitt car chase), black militants, Chicanos, not to mention the police, who, as usual in PI tales, threaten them, the least of which is license removal. When a family member dies at the hands of the hoodlums, the pair go after the killers, not letting up as they bull their way through to what it’s all about: four hundred thousand in stolen thousand dollar bills.
A pretty violent film, written by Walter Hill and directed by Robert Culp, this is one I wouldn’t mind owning. What I’ve found is that only one DVD, a pretty bad transfer, has ever been available. Likely not an official release, one reviewer said it looked like a third or fourth generation dub from a VHS tape. Prices on the ‘net, even for VHS tapes run over a hundred dollars.