The Detective (1968)

the detective“Nestor, you’re a miserable son of a bitch” – Joe Leland

Number of Times Seen – 1 (9 Nov 2015)

Brief Synopsis – A police detective in a very gritty New York must deal with two seemingly unrelated murders that might be connected to high ranking city politicians.

My Take on it – Many of you probably recognize the name John McClane, but how many of you knew that his original name was Joe Leland and that twenty years prior to Bruce Willis making the character iconic he was portrayed by none other than Frank Sinatra himself.

This movie is the product of the first story of the character who would eventually save the Nakatomi building hostages.

This movie is a gritty police murder mystery that definitely has some interesting twists and was very groundbreaking for its time because of its very frank language and situations.

While not as thrilling as the future movies with this character, it still helps explain how McClane got his hard earned reputation as a cop willing to break the rules if it helps the situation.

Bottom Line – This was the original story of the character who later became known to millions as John McClane of the Die Hard movie franchise. Not as thrilling as any of those films, but they do manage to give us an interesting murder mystery led by a cop with an attitude. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Frank Sinatra plays Detective Joe Leland from the novel (The Detective) by Roderick Thorp. Thorp wrote a sequel (Nothing Lasts Forever) where Leland is trapped in a Claxxon Oil Corporation skyscraper after it’s taken by German terrorists and must rescue his daughter and grandchildren. Twenty years later the novel was filmed with some changes: the daughter became his wife, Claxxon became the Nakatomi Corporation and Joe Leland’s name was changed to John McClane. The film was released under the title Die Hard (1988). Because of a clause in Sinatra’s contract for “The Detective” which gave him the right to reprise his role in a sequel, he was actually the first person offered the McClane role, even though he was 73 years old at the time. Also, coincidentally, Bruce Willis (who played McClane) made his movie debut in The First Deadly Sin (1980) walking out of a bar as Sinatra walks into it. Additionally, ‘Lloyd Bochner’ plays Dr. Wendell Roberts in The Detective (1968); his son, Hart Bochner, plays Harry Ellis in Die Hard (1988). (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy


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5 thoughts on “The Detective (1968)

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