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The Late Show

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The Late Show, starring Art Carney & Lily Tomlin. "The nicest, warmest, funniest and most touching movie you'll ever see about blackmail, mystery and murder."
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The Late Show (1977) starring Art Carney, Lily Tomlin, Bill Macy, Eugene Roche, Joanna Cassidy, John Considine

Semi-retired hard-boiled detective (Art Carney) is drawn back into action when his longtime partner is shot to death while searching for the kidnapped cat of a kooky Los Angeles woman (Lily Tomlin).


Buy from Amazon Despite the two stars being comedy legends Art Carney and Lily Tomlin, The Late Show is not a comedy. Imagine that detective Sam Spade somehow managed to live to be in his sixties. That’s the character that Art Carney plays. He does it well, but there’s no comedy. He’s a hard-drinking, two-fisted, foul mouthed private eye. So no, The Late Show is not a family friendly movie.

Lily Tomlin plays a ditzy lady, who hires him to find her missing cat. Her character’s more than a little brain fried from smoking pot. She’s one of those people who aren’t quite in sync with the world around her.

The Late Show is a murder mystery. It’s well acted, with some interesting characters. Although the scene with an elderly Art Carney beating up a criminal’s henchman with his bare hands stretches credulity.

Editorial review of The Late Show courtesy of

Aging private eye Ira Wells (Academy Award winner* Art Carney) has agreed to help a Hollywood kook named Margo (Lily Tomlin) locate her missing cat. Little does he know he’s got a tiger by the tail. Written and directed by three-time Oscar winner* Robert Benton (Kramer vs. Kramer), The Late Show is a brilliant, funny and gutsy modern-day homage to ’40s detective thrillers. Like his contemporaries Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade, gimpy-legged Ira’s one of the great ones (Carney won the 1977 National Society of Film Critics Best Actor Award for his work here). Will this one last case – and this one flaky lady – give him one last chance to prove it? Stay up with The Late Show and solve the mystery!

Cast of characters

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