The William Goldman Blogathon – Harper (1966)


This is my first of 3 reviews for The William Goldman Blogathon 2019 being hosted by Rebecca of Taking Up Room.

Tnx for letting me partake Rebecca!

“The bottom is loaded with nice people, Albert. Only cream and bastards rise.” – Lew Harper

Number of Times Seen – 1 (13 Nov 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A private detective is hired to find the missing husband of a wealthy woman, but nothing is ever as it may seem.

My Take on it – This is a film that I knew nothing about before choosing to watch it for this blogathon besides the fact that it was written by William Goldman and that it starred Paul Newman.

They do a wonderful job portraying the life of a down and out detective who takes a case on a whim.

The mystery itself is quite complex and that is helped along by the fact that there are lots of twists and turns along the way that keep the audience on their toes the whole time because nothing is predictable at all.

Newman is superb in the title role and is able to give off a very realistic and authentic feel for his character and all that he does is taken in stride and works well in having the story play out.

The cast of this film in addition to Newman is great with Lauren Bacall, Robert Wagner, Robert Webber, Julie Harris, Janet Leigh, Shelley Winters and Harold Gould all giving playing wonderful characters.

They each find ways to make their characters feel somewhat sympathetic which helps keep the audience constantly guessing the real motivations of each of them despite the various issues that they all seem to have that help make them more realistic.

Bottom Line – Great detective story that is filled with some great twists and turns along the way that help keep the audience guessing the whole time. Newman is great in the lead and gives off a very realistic vibe for this character as he takes everything in stride.  Besides Newman the cast is great with Bacall, Wagner, Harris, Hill, Leigh, Webber, Winters and Gould all doing wonderful things with these characters. Really liked the way that they portray the characters here in a sympathetic ways despite the fact that most of them have some real issues that help make them stand out. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The opening credits sequence: William Goldman later said he knew he’d succeed as a screenwriter as soon as he wrote the opening scene in Harper (1966) in which Harper is forced to recycle used coffee grounds from the trash for his morning cup of coffee. Harper’s dismay at the result, as realized by Paul Newman on screen, immediately created empathy between the character and the audience. Ironically, that opening sequence was the last thing he wrote for that script. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

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3 thoughts on “The William Goldman Blogathon – Harper (1966)

  1. Pingback: The William Goldman Blogathon Has Arrived – Taking Up Room

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