Murder by Death

The eternal Philistine trumps his adversaries, the creations of celebrated authors, being his own daughter.

“I feel it in my buns,” says Milo Perrier’s chauffeur. And so on down the line in a riveting analysis of the longstanding problem.


The Cheap Detective

A surrealistic pirouette through The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep and a few other films including Chinatown, which provides the color cinematography.

Lou Peckinpaugh’s partner Floyd Merkle is murdered in a crime spree, the police trail Mrs. Merkle, Peckinpaugh’s mistress.

It’s set in “a fictional San Francisco” but coincides with the fall of France.

The key of the more than admirable screenplay is the interchangeability of the characters. All the women are Georgia Merkle, all the men Floyd, save Peckinpaugh, who never tips a cabdriver.

The war has nothing to do with it, a prefatory note explains. Col. Schlissel, the German military attaché to Cincinnati, hunts Paul DuChard at Nix Place only to prevent him from acquiring lease papers and a liquor license for a two-star French restaurant in Oakland.

The prize sought by Jasper Blubber and Pepe Damascus is a gag item in Russell’s Billion Dollar Brain and McLaglen’s ffolkes.