Harper. 1966. USA. Directed by Jack Smight. Screenplay by William Goldman, based on the novel by Ross Macdonald. With Lauren Bacall, Paul Newman, Julie Harris. 35mm. 121 min.
Jack Smight’s sunny California film noir follows private detective Lew Harper (Paul Newman) as he searches for the missing husband of wealthy matron Mrs. Sampson (Bacall). (Smart stuff on Smight’s part to bring in Bacall, who was a mainstay in classic 1940s noir films.) Bacall, along with Janet Leigh, Robert Wagner, and Shelly Winters, gives Harper an A-list pedigree, bolstered by a tight, crisp early screenplay by two-time Oscar winner William Goldman.