- 1 hr 28 min
Gumshoe is a 1971 British film that marked Stephen Frears' feature film directional debut. The movie features an all-star cast, including Albert Finney, Billie Whitelaw, Frank Finlay, and Janice Rule. The film is set in Liverpool and follows the story of Eddie Ginley (Albert Finney), a bingo caller by day and a wannabe private detective by night, living in a world of fantasy. The film starts with him placing an advert in the local newspaper, offering his services as a private investigator. His first case comes in almost immediately, and he finds himself embroiled in a twisted web of lies and deceit, operating in a murky world of drugs, blackmail, and murder. Eddie's desire to become a private detective is motivated by his passion for detective stories, as well as by his dissatisfaction with his life. As a result, he creates an elaborate alter ego, who he calls Sam Spade, which he uses as his investigator alias. His first case involves a mysterious woman named Ellen (Janice Rule), who hires him to watch her for a week without explaining why. Despite his lack of experience and his inability to take anything seriously, Eddie's investigation leads him to a series of dangerous encounters with a group of criminals, led by a sinister figure named The Fat Man (George Silver). Along the way, he encounters various people that complicate his job, including a range of quirky characters, such as his ex-girlfriend (Billie Whitelaw), a sleazy nightclub owner (Frank Finlay), and a flirty stripper (Carol Cleveland). As Eddie's investigation unfolds, he realizes that he could be in over his head, and the lives of his loved ones hang in the balance. He has to outsmart various individuals who want him dead, and he is forced to rely on his quick wit and unexpected sources of help to stay alive. The movie is an homage to classic film noir, and Eddie Ginley is a parody of the film noir anti-hero. He is witty, charming, and ultimately vulnerable. He finds himself drawn into a plot that he can't escape from, and the more he tries to extricate himself, the more embroiled he becomes. Gumshoe is a witty, entertaining film that skillfully carries echoes of classic film noir tropes into the modern era. It's a stunning debut film from director Stephen Frears, and the powerhouse acting of Albert Finney, Billie Whitelaw, Frank Finlay, and Janice Rule make the film a memorable one. It's a quirky, off-beat thriller that is both funny and thrilling, offering a unique spin on the classic gumshoe story. By the end of the film, audiences will be left with a smile on their faces and a new appreciation for the film noir genre.