David Knights' Weblog

May 23, 2019

Movie review: Harper (1966)

Filed under: General — dknights @ 9:13 am
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This is why I don’t get more modeling done.  Last night, exhausted after work, kids care, etc. I should have modeled.  Instead I turned on the TV and on TCM found Cool Hand Luke running.  It was a third of the way in, but it is a compelling film and I sat and watched it, though I had seen it many times before.  After it ended, it turns out that it is Paul Newman month on TCM.

The next film they were showing was this one, Harper.  It was shot in 1966, but was based on a late 1940s noir novel called The Moving Target.  It is a typical PI story, with a down and out PI getting hired for a case with a bunch of twists and turns.  I won’t spoil the plot, because it is worth watching.  It isn’t the best film ever, or the best Newman film, but it is good.  There are a number of good performances, starting with Newman.  Also, since it is set in LA/Southern California in the mid-60s, you get some great shots that make you realize how wonderful California was in the 60s, before the sprawl, the crime, the corruption, etc.  If you had to pick a time and place in the past to live, a top contender would be LA from 1940 to 1965.

Like many films in the 60s, this one has an ambiguous ending.  I suspect you could get 5 people to watch it, and no two would agree on what the ending meant.  It is a good film, well worth watching.  A solid 3 out of 5 stars.

 

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