The Late Show

Watch The Late Show

"The nicest movie you'll ever see about murder and blackmail."
  • PG
  • 1977
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • 6.9  (3,257)

The Late Show, directed by Robert Benton, is a 1977 mystery-comedy film starring Art Carney, Lily Tomlin, and Bill Macy. Set in 1970s Los Angeles, The Late Show follows the story of aging private detective Ira Wells (Art Carney) who is struggling to keep his life and business together in the midst of personal and professional setbacks. Wells has recently lost his business partner and former lover, who died in a car accident, and is forced to take on cases that he finds uninteresting, with clients who he doesn't like.

One day, he is approached by Margo Sperling (Lily Tomlin), a scatterbrained eccentric who needs his help to find her cat. Although Wells initially seems uninterested, he decides to take the case after Sperling tells him a wild story about her wealthy ex-husband and his unsavory associates. Wells and Sperling soon become an unlikely team, working together to solve not only the case of the missing cat but also a much bigger mystery involving mobsters and murder.

The Late Show is a classic film noir with a humorous twist. The film’s witty dialogue and clever plot twists play homage to the true hard-boiled detective films of the 1940s and '50s, while at the same time poking fun at the genre’s conventions. The film's setting in 1970s Los Angeles also adds an interesting cultural layer to the story, with characters that reflect the city’s changing social and political landscape.

One of the film's greatest strengths is its sharp and witty script. The film’s dialogue is written with such skill that every line of dialogue is dripping with wit and cleverness. The Late Show also pays homage to the works of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, writers who are often credited with founding the hard-boiled detective genre.

Another standout feature of the movie is the performances by its lead actors. Art Carney gives a brilliant performance as the world-weary detective, capturing the character's sense of melancholy and cynicism perfectly. He manages to be both tough and vulnerable, and his performance is both realistic and engaging. Lily Tomlin is also wonderful as Margo Sperling, delivering a quirky and likable performance.

The Late Show has many memorable scenes, including some unforgettable chase sequences and a thrilling final stand-off. However, what really sets this film apart is its keen sense of humor. There are many moments throughout the movie that are genuinely funny, thanks to the clever writing and excellent performances.

In conclusion, The Late Show is a superb example of the classic hard-boiled detective genre, with a humorous twist. Featuring an engaging story, excellent performances, and a sharp script, this movie is a must-see for fans of the genre. While it may not be as well-known as some of the other hard-boiled detective films, it is a true gem that shouldn't be missed.

The Late Show is a 1977 mystery with a runtime of 1 hour and 33 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9.

The Late Show
Where to Watch The Late Show
The Late Show is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Late Show for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 33 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (3,257)