Harper (1966)

Not Rated   |    |  Crime, Drama, Mystery

Harper (1966) Poster

Lew Harper, a cool private investigator, is hired by a wealthy California matron to locate her kidnapped husband.




  • Paul Newman in "Harper." 1966 Warner
  • Harper (1966)
  • Paul Newman in "Harper,"
  • Paul Newman in "Harper." 1966 Warner
  • Paul Newman in "Harper." 1966 Warner Brothers
  • "Harper," Paul Newman on the set. 1966 Warner Brothers

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21 November 2007 | blanche-2
| Another great Newman performance
Paul Newman is "Harper," a detective called upon to find a missing husband in this 1966 film based on the book "The Moving Target" by Ross MacDonald. It also stars Lauren Bacall, Arthur Hill, Pamela Tiffin, Robert Wagner, Shelley Winters, Robert Webber, Janet Leigh and Julie Harris. Bacall, on the suggestion of the family attorney (Hill) hires Harper to locate her husband. Along the way, Harper meets some bizarre characters, including Strother Martin as an alleged religious guru, Harris as a junkie singer and others. There are enough twists and turns to keep the audience interested throughout.

As Harper, Newman turns in another excellent portrayal as he beards Steve McQueen in his den - and wins. His characterization has wit and style throughout - he's the perfect '60s detective with a wife he needs but can't stay with, a home in his office, and a determination to get at the truth despite a great deal of danger. Though one usually doesn't associate Newman with warmth, he is perhaps more likable in this role than the ubercool McQueen would have been. Newman is, in fact, just plain great as he whips off those one-liners. Though down and out, his Harper plays it as it lays.

The supporting cast is wonderful, top-notch all the way, and the film is accompanied by a terrific musical score. Paul Newman has given us some great portrayals. I put Harper near the top of the list.

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