Paul Newman memorably plays the title role in this box-office hit based on Ross MacDonald's The Moving Target. The first detective film in Newman's then 23-film career, Harper revitalized the genre. Newman's sleuth chews gum fast... and slips out of jams ever faster as he unravels a twisted case of kidnapping and murder. William Goldman's clever script throws quips and a parade of LA-LA-Land characters Harper's way. There's a woman of means (Lauren Bacall), a gun-toting attorney (Arthur Hill), a poolside gigolo (Robert Wagner), a boozy ex-starlet (Shelley Winters), a jazz junkie (Julie Harris), Harper's estranged wife (Janet Leigh) and the unholy order of the Temple of the Clouds (led by Strother Martin). Each may possess a clue. Or a bullet for Harper.
Special features include commentary by screenwriter William Goldman, an introduction by TCM host Robert Osborne, and theatrical trailer.
Paul Newman steps into the hard-boiled tradition of Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe as Lew Harper, a "new type" of detective -- as he puts it. Lauren Bacall plays the wife of a missing millionaire who hires the reluctant Harper to find him. Coming across a menagerie of pulp characters including a gigolo (Robert Wagner), a junkie (Julie Harris) and a group of cultists, Harper unravels a case of kidnap and murder in this sharply written mystery.