Paul Newman is the epitome of cool in this sarcastic homage to the 40s film noir detective story.
As Lew Harper (not Archer as in the original story, as he felt films beginning with a 'H' had a head start in the success ratings), Newman is struggling with an impending divorce with a brittle Janet Leigh, and is sucked into a missing millionaire mystery at the behest of sultry and partially paralysed Lauren Bacall, the droll wife of the nearly departed.
Throw in a tepid Pamela Tiffin as her pouty daughter, Robert Wagner as a Cagney-worshipping wanabee, respectable legal eagle Arthur Hill, and boozy floozy Shelley Winters, and you have something which ticks all the boxes.
Directed by Jack Smight, who had a middling two decade career, this is buzzing with one-liners, bags of atmosphere, and of course that flash and jaded private detective played with panache by Newman.
Delicious ending, too.