Gumshoe (1971) - Rotten Tomatoes


Gumshoe (1971)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Gumshoe Photos

Movie Info

Private eye Eddie Ginley (Albert Finney) thinks he's Bogart -- if Bogie was a compere at a Merseyside bingo -- but his latest case may have bamboozled even Raymond Chandler himself. Accompanied by a mesmerising Andrew Lloyd Webber score, Frears' post-modern dismantling of the American detective genre revels in British locations and wonderfully earthy wordplay. You'll never look at a raincoat in the same way again. Here's looking at you -- Eddie?

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Frank Finlay
as William
Janice Rule
as Mrs. Blankerscoon
Carolyn Seymour
as Alison Wyatt
George Innes
as Bookshop Proprietor
George Silver
as Jacob De Fries
Bill Dean
as Tommy
Wendy Richard
as Anne Scott
Ken Jones
as Labor Exchange Clerk
Tom Kempinski
as Psychiatrist
Harry Hutchinson
as Kleptomaniac
Jason Kane
as Club Artist
Vicki Day
as Club Artist
Christian Scott
as Club Artist
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Critic Reviews for Gumshoe

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2)

It's an extraordinarily funny film, funny in a way that is neither patronising of its audience's intelligence nor complacent about its own.

February 11, 2020 | Full Review…

Gumshoe is an affectionately nostalgic and amusing tribute to the movie-fiction private-eye genre of yesteryear.

February 23, 2012 | Full Review…

Gumshoe is a perfect sort of summer film - light as a Panama hat, cool as a frosted daiquiri.

January 29, 2020 | Full Review…

An amusing private eye spoof.

December 31, 2019 | Full Review…

The derivative noir film reeks of too much Bogie.

April 1, 2015 | Rating: B | Full Review…

... the first feature by Stephen Frears is an unheralded gem of a film.

March 11, 2009 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Gumshoe

I love Albert Finney but Humphrey Bogart he ain't.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Stephen Frears hit the big time, see, with 1971's "Gumshoe," a likable detective yarn. It was the acclaimed director's first theatrical feature, and he didn't direct his second until eight years later. Albert Finney stars as Eddie Ginley, who's feeling restless in his crummy job as a Liverpool nightclub emcee. He fantasizes being a fast-talking detective as found in pulp fiction and old movies, and places an advertisement in the local paper. Shortly, he is contacted by someone who gives him a mysterious envelope containing a woman's photo, a wad of money and a gun. The story unfolds from there. The details of the case are hard to follow, but it doesn't really matter. The film's thrust is just the stylized rhythm of its dialogue and its winking homage to the Sam Spade/Philip Marlowe archetype. "Gumshoe" can't be labeled a mere spoof, however -- it aims for smiles rather than laughs, and plenty of scenes have a dramatic tone. The prime targets of Eddie's wit are his brother William (a wealthy jerk whose shipping business may be crooked) and William's wife Ellen (Billie Whitelaw). Ellen is Eddie's former lover whom the more stable William stole away, but she still holds onto her feelings for Eddie. The crackling chemistry between Finney and Whitelaw is easily the film's greatest virtue. Two other enigmatic women dip in and out of Eddie's investigation, but don't quite make a mark like they should. A rival detective (Fulton Mackay) has some sharp moments, however. Music fans should note that the young Andrew Lloyd Webber composed the film's score -- a rare undertaking for him.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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