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The Late Show

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Original title
The Late Show
Running time
94 min.
United States United States
Robert Benton
Kenneth Wannberg
Charles Rosher Jr.
Warner Bros., Lion's Gate Films
Mystery | Neo-noir
Synopsis / Plot
A financially strained, aging private detective named Ira Wells isn't a well man and is barely active in the business. He is a loner who doesn't much care for company or small talk. When his ex-partner Harry Regan, however, shows up at Ira's boarding house one night mortally wounded while on a case, Ira feels it's up to him to get to the bottom of it.

The trail leads Ira to a small-time fence named Birdwell, whose young bodyguard Lamar is only too happy to rough up the old man when Ira pays a call. But they make a mistake in intimidating and underestimating Ira, who ends up paying Lamar back in kind as well as tracking down Birdwell's missing wife.

Meanwhile, a would-be client named Margo Sperling is introduced to Ira by a mutual acquaintance, Charlie Hatter, a tipster. Margo is a quirky individual who acts as an agent for a singer, sells marijuana on the side and wants to hire Ira to find not a murderer but just her missing cat.

As they get to know each other after a rocky start, Ira and Margo hit it off to the point that she offers to become his new partner. But first they need to deal with a dangerous confrontation in Margo's apartment.
1977: Oscar: Nominated for Best Original Screenplay
1977: Golden Globes: Nominated for Best Actress - Musical/Comedy (Lily Tomlin)
1977: BAFTA Awards: Nominated for Best Actress (Lily Tomlin)
1977: New York Film Critics Circle: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Macy)
1977: Berlin Film Festival: Silver Bear - Best Actress (Lily Tomlin)
1977: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nominated for Best Original Drama Screenplay
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