Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated Detective/Mysteries - Richard Winters ""

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Underrated Detective/Mysteries - Richard Winters

Richard Winters runs Scopophilia, a blog covering neglected movies from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Highly recommended! 
He also did an underrated comedies list for me:

and an underrated dramas list as well: 
Find him on twitter here:

Man on a Swing (1975)
This is a fascinating psychology study that is based on a true crime that occurred in Dayton, Ohio in 1970. The case deals with a young school teacher found bludgeoned to death in her car. Cliff Robertson plays the detective who has very few clues to go on and the case quickly goes cold. Then a mysterious psychic shows up played in a brilliantly creepy way by Joel Grey.  He seems to be aware of things that only the killer would know. Is he just a really good psychic, or the actual murderer? The film keeps you guessing to the very end.
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Out of all the movies that have been based on Agatha Christie’s novels I still consider this one to be my favorite. The all-star cast is spectacular especially Wendy Hiller as an old wheel chair bound woman with a perpetually stern expression. Albert Finney is completely unrecognizable as Hercule Poirot and the lush scenery, melodic music score and offbeat ending are like icing on the cake.
The Drowning Pool (1975)
Paul Newman returns as Harper the brash detective who always seems to get in over-his-head, but manages to find a way out of them relatively unscathed. This one isn’t quite as slick, or has the snappy dialogue like in the first film, the aptly titled Harper, but the part where he and Gail Strickland get trapped in an abandoned sanitarium that fills up to the ceiling with water is one of the most amazing scenes ever put on film and a definite must-see!
The Detective (1968)
This one is a landmark and a real shocker especially for its time period as it deals with a murdered gay man who has his genitals cut off and it’s up to detective Joe Leland (Frank Sinatra) to find the culprit despite resistance from his own department. This one is quite gritty and well filmed including a suicide done from the point-of-view of a man jumping off a building that really made me flinch. Sinatra is excellent in the lead and this is the type of mystery you’ll never be able to figure out no matter how hard you try.

The Long Goodbye (1973)
Director Robert Altman was known for his quirky comedies and offbeat style, but this film proves to be one of his grittier efforts and the results are excellent. Elliot Gould’s sarcastic personality is put to full use here playing an updated version of Philip Marlowe in an intriguing case that has a lot of twists and turns. The most memorable moment is when Mark Rydell smashes his girlfriend’s nose in a completely unprovoked moment that is unsettling, but effective.

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