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  • We watch people boarding a bus, circa 1944/45/46. A man is seated in the back quietly, when a soldier sits down next to him. For what must represent at least an hour or two of traveling the soldier is just jabbering away, while the man next to him is...well trapped, hoping this clown will just move away, leave the bus, or shut up. Finally they are the last two on the bus when they reach a stop. The soldier says it's his stop, picks up his duffel bag, says good bye to the man, pulls out a gun with a silencer, and shoots him. He then pulls a large package out of the dead man's pocket, puts it into his duffel bag, and leaves the bus. And our movie of the week begins.

    GOODNIGHT, MY LOVE was a valentine to the film noir of the 1940s and 1950s. Barbara Bain is the woman who goes to the private eye offices of Richard Boone. She is looking for her brother, who is missing. Soon it turns out this missing man is the "soldier" in the opening of the film. But the identity of the dead man is learned too - it is a courier carrying papers concerning the nightclub run by Vicor Buono. Boone's job is to find the missing man, but also to find out why the courier was hit. And there some people who appear not to want Boone to find any of this out.

    But from the start the film is goofy. Boone's partner - one hesitates to call him his "Miles Archer" - is diminutive, but great actor Michael Dunn. Their firm is not doing so hot, which may explain Bain's hiring them. But soon Dunn's height shows it's usefulness. Somebody knocks at the firm's door, and Dunn goes to answer - and six bullets are pumped through the door's center (which would have killed a regular sized man answering, but happens to pass over a surprised Dunn's head). Unlike Bogart in MALTESE FALCON, Bain is no Mary Astor. In fact she remains consistently business-like regarding why she hired Boone (much to his dismay).

    The obvious villain, of course, is Victor Buono as "Julius Limeway", a definite part in homage to the great Sidney Greenstreet. Buono is always seen at his nightclub, usually dining. He wears white tuxedos all the time. Dunn, getting fed up with Buono's sinister airs, lectures him before leaving that if he is going to wear white, he should not eat dishes with tomato sauce. Dunn and Boone leave the scene to Buono, last seen dipping his napkin into a water glass and rubbing his suit's lapel very heavily.

    It was a different and welcome television movie, and one hopes it will show up again some time.
  • scott_f_burns28 April 2003
    Made during the `Glory Days' of the ABC Movie of the Week, when they were putting out some real quality TV-Movies (The Night Stalker; Dr. Cook's Garden; A Brand New Life; Congratulations, It's a Boy; Five Desperate Women), this one ranks with the best of them.

    Chandler-esque detective yarn, great atmosphere, clever dialogue, and perfectly cast (particularly Michael Dunn, probably the greatest Little Person actor in Hollywood history).

    Catch it if you can. A true gem.
  • I saw this movie when it first aired back in 1972 on ABC movie of the week and I'm trying to get a copy of it as I write this. Just about everyone in the cast is dead except for Barbara Bain. I was hoping it was going to get picked up as a show but like so many good pilots from that time period it fell by the waste side. If you haven't seen it, try to check it out. It's a well above average detective TV movie With a great cast. Back in the 70's There was a lot of movies being made about that time period. Even Robert Mitchum Played a Philip Marlow in 1974 in Farewell My Lovely. Tony Curtis did Lepkie and so on. I think when Re-runs of the untouchables surfaced it started a wave on that subject matter. To bad there not making more films like that now.
  • gordonl569 November 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    L.A. 1946

    Richard Boone and Michael Dunn play a pair of world-weary private detectives in this superb television movie. The two are down to their last nickel and wondering where their next meal is coming from. There is a knock at the door and in strolls Barbara Bain.

    "Would it be possible to hire you?" It seems her husband to be, Gianni Russo, is missing and Bain wants to find out why. A quick cash advance and Boone and partner are on the job. They head for the missing groom's rooms where not two steps inside, Boone's head is on the receiving end of a pistol butt.

    Once Boone has recovered, they pay a return visit to Miss Bain. While a simple case of finding a man is OK, a pistol whipping is not what they signed up for. They quit! Bain doubles their fee and back on the job the two go. A little digging and they find that Gianni is mixed up with mobbed up club owner, Victor Buono.

    Buono pulls out all stops as he gives a great Sydney Greenstreet imitation. Someone has bumped off a mob courier and helped himself to a suitcase with $400,000. And it seems that Bain's missing beau is the prime suspect.

    The mob is not amused and has put out a contract on Gianni. Boone and Dunn find that double cross on top of double cross is the order of the day with this bunch. Buono is short of cash due to some large gambling losses. He hires Gianni to bump off the courier with the suitcase and then return it to him. Gianni instead takes the suitcase and goes into hiding.

    Every time Boone gets close to finding Gianni, he finds himself on the wrong end of various fists, boots and gun barrels. Boone is not amused. When the boys do find Gianni, it is after he has taken a six story fall off a roof. Witnesses describe a woman who sounds a lot like Bain leaving the area just after her now ex's failed flight.

    Now it all comes clear to Boone. Bain was in on the scam with Gianni. Buono crosses the mob, Gianni crosses Buono, then Bain crosses Gianni. The only problem for Bain is that the suitcase was empty. Buono, assuming that he was going to get the suitcase back had given the mob courier an empty suitcase. When Gianni returned, Buono had intended to dispose of him, then use the cash he had kept to pay down his gambling debts. Buono's perfect plan goes all to hell because of a dame.

    Needless to say the mob soon figures this out as well. Soon Bain is added to the body count and the mob comes looking for Buono. He is next on the list for the long sleep. Boone and Dunne return to their office to wait for the next fool to walk in.

    This is one great film! The dialogue is superb with the back and forth between Boone and Dunn being utterly priceless.

    Directed by Peter Hyams whose work includes, Outland, Time Cop, Sudden Death, Narrow Margin, (the remake) and the strange P.I. film Peeper.
  • winner5512 July 2009
    Back in the 1970s, some young directors really believed it was possible to make movies for television, rather than "TV movies" (one-episode 90 minute TV shows or the longer, even less cinematic soap opera 'miniseries'). The best known of these efforts was Spielberg's "Duel," but there were good films appearing now and again all the way up 'till about 1983, which saw the "Day After" phenomenon, following which Republicans put such pressure on TV producers, they never attempted anything risky on broadcast TV again.

    This movie may very well be Peter Hyam's best. It certainly boasts the best later performance by Richard Boone as a washed-out detective and a knock-down performance by Michael Dunne as his side-kick. The camera-work, the pacing, the dialog, are all low-key, but need to be - this is an homage to the noir films of the forties, not a "Chinatown" attempt to resurrect them. Consequently there's a great deal of gentle humor here, but it never gets campy, and doesn't get in the way of a tight little mystery that is doomed to end badly for everyone - the detectives succeed in the end only because they live to be able to tell the tale (and are smart enough to know not to waste their breath telling it). There's a general feeling of 'life happens" pervading the film - as was also the case for the noir films toward the end of that genre as it faded after WWII. Despite the low-key approach, the film is highly memorable for its atmosphere and characterizations. I haven't seen it for years and I still think of seeing it with pleasure. Probably a lost film (although I suppose you can find anything on the internet), this could be well worth the research to rediscover.
  • shemp47-18 November 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    This may have started out as a light-hearted take-off on 40's film noir but ends up being just as good if not better than any of those classic films. One of the greatest casts ever assembled for any movie! All but Barabara Bain are gone now and we should mourn their passing. Richard Boone, Michael Dunn make such a pair I wish this had been picked up as series. I doubt they could have maintained such quality on a weekly basis. The background music, photography, writing, acting are all excellent. The way they evoke the 1940's really puts you in the mood. The story is a bit predictable and you'll spot the bad guy at first glance but it's all fun. Great Movie!
  • This story looks much like a Raymond Chandler mystery story, so if you like films like "Farewell, My Lovely" or "The Big Sleep" or "Lady in the Lake", then by all means watch this film--which is available to watch on YouTube.

    The film is set in 1946 and stars Richard Boone as private detective Francis Hogan and Michael Dunn as his very non-traditional partner, Arthur Boyle. Dunn was a very good actor and I am glad he got a chance to do a part that isn't normally played by a person with dwarfism...and I appreciate that opportunity. The pair are doing rather poorly...and need a case in the worst possible way. So, when a lovely blonde (Barbara Bain) shows up and wants them to find her missing boyfriend, they quickly take the case without too many questions. Not surprisingly, however, Susan (Bain) is a femme fatale...and quick to turn on the water works (a woman who cries at the drop of a hat). She also lies...but only when she opens her mouth! Soon it becomes apparent that LOTS of people are looking for the missing boyfriend, as there's a mob contract out on the guy...and this could be exactly why she's looking for the guy. And what about that strange fat guy (Victor Buono in a Sidney Greenstreet sort of role)...what does he have to do with all this? And what about the missing money? What's next?

    The filmmakers did a nice job of catching the look of 1946 and the writer/director Peter Hyams did a nice job of capturing the spirit of the Chandler stories. I especially like the snappy dialog-- particularly between Boone and Dunn. The movie also shows how good and well crafted some made for TV films were back in the day.

    By the way, in one scene the pair of gumshoes are standing outside the Chandler Hotel...probably meant as a subtle inside joke for the famous writer.
  • It's Los Angeles 1946, and a money courier for a shady nightclub owner is killed en route to his destination; meanwhile, a blonde "tomato" has hired beaten-down gumshoe Francis Hogan (and his "small fellow" sidekick) to find her boyfriend, who's been missing for four days. TV-made noir, an early effort from talented writer-director Peter Hyams, has everything a slim budget can afford: period costumes and cars, faux-Art Deco decor, seedy racetrack types and bookie joints. Unfortunately, Richard Boone, while amiable, isn't exactly Humphrey Bogart; looking out-of-place in tatty suits and hats, it's rather disconcerting to see Boone playing the good guy (with his molten lava complexion and steely eyes, he looks more like one of the gorillas hired on by the heavy). Victor Buono's performance as the piggy-eyed villain (who amusingly uses words like 'semi-literate') is the stand-out here, and Barbara Bain is also very good as the damsel-in-distress (she's likened to a Veronica Lake type, but she's much more from the Lauren Bacall school). Hyams' plot turns out to be a shaggy dog mystery--much of which takes place off-screen--and the character relationships suffer as a result. There's a little snooping, a little shooting, some scuffles, a few dead bodies, but nothing intrinsically exciting happening at the movie's core. Hyams obviously has a love for Bogie mysteries and Raymond Chandler stories (the title alone is pretty much a riff on "Farewell, My Lovely"), and his affection is translated here with aplomb. What he's missing is the sharp sting of a good story. Those '40s-era pulp-detective dramas worked on a much bigger scale than their visual accouterments and smart talk alone--they had cutting wit, a tangible mystery, and three-dimensional good guys and bad guys (you knew exactly where you stood with them). There's no time on the clock to expand on this reedy plot, and not enough money in the budget to expound on the virtues therein.