They're Not Cool Slick Heroes.
Two veteran private eyes trigger a criminal reign of terror with their search for a missing girl.
Two veteran private eyes trigger a criminal reign of terror with their search for a missing girl.
Robert Culp and Mr. JELL-O Pudding Pop Bill Cosby as a pair of private detectives hired to find a missing lady named Mary Jane. However, like all delicious pulpy noir, it's never that easy. What starts out as a missing persons case, soon becomes a deadly game of kidnapping, murder, counterfeiting, and other criminal mischief in this Walter Hill written, Robert Culp directed, gritty grimy dirty dark sweaty underrated as fuck noir of a good time. Choo choo train. Ain't it always about the Benjamins? Stamp licker. The way Bill Cosby chews on a stogie. You should always wear sunscreen when you're outside. Buff muscle man. James Woods? Giant calculator. Yummy bacon. Did you know both Alexander Hamilton and Grover…
Bigger sleep, longer goodbye. Kinda glad I missed the 70s, though I also kinda wish that now we're reliving the economic downturn and flawed foreign military adventures that informed the cynicism of the 1970s that our movies were as good or at least as culturally self-reflective.
Bogg's look of shock and surprise when the bad guy pulls out a submachine gun: He brought the biggest, baddest gun he knew to this stereotypical detective yarn stakeout and the bad guys are just mowing down people with ease like none of it matters.
"You ever kill anybody? In the United States?"
These guys didn't show up too late or stay too long...this is only barely about the passing of some brand of masculinity or the death of a profession. That sort of thing is just a narrative we spin for ourselves, to give meaning to the fact that we shot up a bunch of shit and lost ourselves for no evident reason or benefit.
This was so good I almost forgot to mention that I got to intro it, on an absolutely gorgeous 35mm print, at Weird Wednesday at the Alamo Ritz thanks to my good friend Laird.
(This is the only movie title on Letterboxd that begins with "Hickey?" Oh, Letterboxd, weren't you ever young?)
I started this review off with a lame joke but I still can't shake the sense of despair that wracked me pretty much from the first frame of this to the last. Lots of things to like, not least among them Walter Hill's screenplay, which I can only imagine was written under the expectation that nothing this dark and cynical would ever be produced in an unadulterated form (a troubling thought: What if this is the adulterated version?). I don't know if Robert Culp is an auteur, but he fucking directs this movie as if he were one, with lots of stunning…
When I decided to undertake this particular project, Hickey & Boggs was exactly the kind of film I envisaged I would be seeing a lot of, and indeed was hoping I would be seeing a lot of.
It comes from around the time when the buddy cop film was just starting to emerge as a genre and, like the other such films being made around this time, such as Busting and Freebie And The Bean, it's far from the kind of film we recognise in this genre now.
It's certainly a fair bit more downbeat and serious than the aforementioned films - in fact, there's barely a joke in this…
I can guess what you're thinking, letterboxd, so let me explain.
After a certain while, you've seen a lot of movies where our hard-boiled heroes are chased by the thugs of the big boss. It's a minor spoiler, but at the midway point of this film, there's a shootout in a parking lot between the main characters of this film and a trio of nameless, dialogue-free soldiers hired by the villain of this picture and his subordinate (Michael Moriarty, rocking a full head of blonde). One of them has a machine gun and is put down by Bill Cosby. Minor spoiler, like I said.
A scene later, we cut to the other two soldiers in an abandoned factor of some…
Before the world would receive and forever love the immensely loveable charismatic buddy-cop duo like Riggs and Murtaugh, we had a duo of two boring private investigators performed by the invidigated monster of Bill Cosby and the biggest Robert Redford look-a-like that no one ever heard of, Robert Culp, Hickey & Boggs, the main title-duo behind a movie that no one nowadays would like to give credit for how great it actually is, and still shows to be. Be it for the shameful fame of one star and the pretty underrated unknown of the other, or taken the fact that this was the same freaking duo of actors from the only god remembers TV-comedy series I Spy, coming to play here…
Tensions broil and bodies roast under dry, hot, unforgiving sunlight. Robert Culp demonstrates technical flare behind the camera, and Walter Hill's witty and unconventional script is ideally suited for the charming leads. I can clearly understand why Tarantino is an admirer of this gritty and overlooked LA noir. It would pair nicely with Robert Altman's amazing adaptation of The Long Goodbye. And who knew that Bill Cosby had a dark side?
"Bleak" really is the only word, isn't it? Matches my worldview almost exactly (so YMMV), although it's certainly the most cynical representation of it I can imagine. (I tend more toward the Woody Allen school, which has me walking around thinking, "Isn't it funny how none of this matters?") It's especially punishing watching life pummel Cosby's character mercilessly until he finally succumbs to the same hopeless, wallowing, empty existence of Culp's. (In a weird way, driving home, I was reminded of Inside Llewyn Davis, another movie in which the protagonist's partner dies before the first frame.) Every character is at odds with every other character, and remarkably Hill and Culp manage to sustain that tension without ever investing it with…
Finally! It's in every list of Best of. Detective, 70's, buddy cop, all of that. With good reasons! Veteran actor Robert Culp stars and directs this Walter Hill script like the best of them, this dark and exciting detective story. America's favorite dad and rapist Bill Cosby is great in this strange for him role. There's $400,000, some mobsters, some Mexicans, a lot of bullets, plus Hickey and Boggs smoking, drinking and sleeping in the same suits trying to figure it out. Kicks fucking ass!
You ever kill anybody? In the United States? Because I know you mean it and everything, but I know these guys better than I know you. They're soldiers, that's all. No questions, no time to ask, no talk. Cops are worse, and less predictable. When you pull a gun, you've gotta be ready to kill somebody, and I'm telling you it's better to run.
Hickey & Boggs was written by Walter Hill and directed by its star Robert Culp. The film has Hill's terse dialogue and delicate plotting, while Culp handles being both in front and behind the camera exceptionally well.
A neo-noir, that trades in the same world as The Long Goodbye and Night Moves, with weary private detectives who…
Early in this movie we see Bill Cosby looking askance at a sex pervert, not too long before he creeps on a woman in a shower without actually making a move on her. Man, it's been a long 30ish years, hasn't it?
This is an old school detective story, like Raymond Chandler, that you just don't get anymore. Cosby and Robert Culp are busted out private eyes living crappy job to crappy job. They get caught up in something bigger than them that could wipe them out, and even though they try to get called off, they just can't leave it alone.
Culp, who also directed the Walter Hill script, knows how to tell a mystery. He doles out details…
Hickey & Boggs (1972) é um filme que a cada revisão fica melhor. Policial melancólico, "slow burner" típico dos Anos 1970: Robert Culp e Bill Cosby como detetives particulares marginalizados, cavaleiros errantes numa Los Angeles filisteia, brutal, perigosa e inclemente. É uma pena que seja tão pouco lembrado. Direção [excelente!] do ator Culp. Roteiro de Walter Hill, que publicamente diz não gostar de algumas alterações feitas por Robert Culp na história. Creio que se o diretor fosse um cineasta "autor", como um Arthur Penn ou Robert Altman (e H&B poderia ser obra irmã de Um Lance no Escuro/Night Moves ou de Um Perigoso Adeus/The Long Goodbye), seria um clássico amplamente reverenciado, e não obra de culto restrita a um punhado de cinéfilos.
The first half rocks
Definitely a bit of curio. Came out in that sweet spot of American cinema where it seems like everything had to have a little bit of existential heft to it. I think that might be to its detriment since it only lands in a few scenes (the sad Cosby bar scene for example). Then again, if they went for your expected buddy cop comedy then it would be more forgettable than it already is. As is I like the characterization of the two leads especially Culp. The weariness is so palpable.
I SPY stars Robert Culp and Bill Cosby play private detectives working a missing persons case in this neo-noir that arrived two years prior to Roman Polanski's CHINATOWN. Not nearly as majestic as that Oscar-winning film, Robert Culp does his best as both actor and director, but Walter Hill's script could have used some revisions.
There's stuff I liked, but the overall story about two private investigators working a missing persons case that connects with a past bank robbery is very bland.
I'm pretty sure Shane Black cribbed from it when he was writing parts of Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout.
Unlikely to be revived again due to Cosby, but this is a solid addition to the 70's run of LA neo-noir, with early script by Walter Hill. Culp was a good director, too bad he never made another.
If you can get past Bill Cosby and James Woods (it's tricky I know), there is a compelling neo noir here. As with most 70s films, it could use a tad less casual misogyny and homophobia. I was impressed with Robert Culp's direction and his portrayal of a down-and-out private eye. Were it not for the offscreen antics of a couple of its stars after the fact, this could maybe be considered a lost classic. As is, I don't know if I recommend this film to just anybody. But it kinda worked for me.
A razor-tight action thriller that unites Walter Hill’s economic but deeply felt script with Robert Culp’s prodigious talent as a director. The shoot-out in the stadium is a masterclass in editing and action choreography.
A messy story stopped me from getting into this one at all. A shame as it seemed to have potential.
Interesting but uneven. They must have spent a lot of money blowing up the helicopter.
The latest case for private investigators Hickey (Bill Cosby) and Boggs (Robert Culp) may push them too close to the edge. Entertaining in a 'takes its sweet time' kind of way. Though much darker than your average "I Spy" episode, the chemistry between the two leads is as strong as ever.
i only wish that my favorite Special Guest Murderer had made more movies
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Lifted from Mubi. All credit for the list goes to @LaursKemp.
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