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Harper [DVD] [1966] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Paul Newman , Lauren Bacall , Jack Smight    DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: 2.84
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Frequently Bought Together

Harper [DVD] [1966] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + The Drowning Pool [1975] + Cool Hand Luke (Deluxe Edition) [DVD] [1967]
Price For All Three: 14.58

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Product details

  • Actors: Paul Newman, Lauren Bacall, Julie Harris, Arthur Hill, Janet Leigh
  • Directors: Jack Smight
  • Writers: Ross Macdonald, William Goldman
  • Producers: Elliott Kastner, Jerry Gershwin
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Nov 2006
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HWZ4D4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,741 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Paul Newman Doing What He Did Best 14 Aug 2001
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
The music, the cars, and the size of Pamela Tiffin's bikini (not to mention her hair) are the big giveaways that this is a Sixties flick - but one without the usual camera trickery of the era. Instead, director Jack Smight goes for a straighforward private eye approach, although the colour and California sunshine rule out the look of a latter day film noir. Paul Newman is the title character, a seedy and cynical private eye investigating the disappearance of a singularly unloved millionaire. That Harper is seedy is amply illustrated under the opening credits. His cynicism is repeatedly demonstrated in William Goldman's terse and cutting dialogue, which Newman clearly enjoys delivering. The plot frequently takes a back seat to the parade of offbeat characters portrayed by a cast of equally offbeat co-stars. Their performances range from very good (Lauren Bacall, Arthur Hill) down to barely adequate (Robert Wagner, the aforementioned Ms Tiffin) with one (Janet Leigh) seeming to have wandered in from another film altogether. But the film belongs to Newman, clearly in his prime and in the midst of a remarkable run of films with titles beginning with "H" (Hud, The Hustler, Hombre). If some elements of the film have dated, Newman's performance has not. A terrific film for anyone who enjoys Newman, private eyes, or just good solid movie-making.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
With its light tone and California stereotypes, Harper is an engaging attempt to update the Raymond Chandler private eye aesthetic to the 60s. Even the casting puts a spin on its illustrious predecessors, with The Big Sleep's Lauren Bacall playing the Colonel Sternwood-like invalid who sets the plot in motion by hiring Paul Newman's Lew Harper to discover the whereabouts of a missing person no-one's that bothered about or particularly wants back - or, as one character puts it, "hired by a bitch to find scum." Along the way, Harper rubs shoulders with some very nasty people, some with dreams and delusions of their own, others just losers or sadists, screwing things up on a regular basis and constantly getting saved by bad guys in a case that is distinctly lacking in good guys. It ends up with two guys out for an evening spin discussing the events of the day, but not before more than a few dead bodies, crimes and scams have been exposed, with our hero often fending off bullets and blows with nothing more than wisecracks and cynicism.

At times the wisecracks threaten to lead the plot, William Goldman's script veering a bit too much to the smartalek at times and Newman mugging it up a bit too much in some scenes, but there's plenty that works well enough to forgive its weakness, not least an outstanding moment where Harper taunts one suspect. There's also an impressive supporting cast, including Robert Wagner, Shelley Winters, Julie Harris, Arthur Hill, Robert Webber, Harold Gould and Strother Martin (as a religious cult leader!), though some are better served by the script than others: Janet Leigh is pretty much wasted as Harper's soon-to-be ex-wife.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Only cream and bastards rise to the top. 2 Mar 2011
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Paul Newman's first foray into detective playing came after Frank Sinatra had turned the role down. Quite what the other "blue eyes" would have done with the material is anyones guess, but it's hard to think he could have been as effortlessly cool and have the comic nous that Newman puts into Lew Harper. Whilst I wouldn't go so far as saying that Harper revitalised a faltering "detective" genre, I do however think it's fair to say that it stands as one of the genres most important post 50s entries. Harper has a bit of everything, a dynamite leading performance, a tricksy plot full of suspicious and near bonkers characters, cool locations, dames of all shapes, ages and sizes, and more tellingly, a cracking screenplay that's inventive in structure and sizzles with humour. Hell, even the end has a nice touch, a conversation piece indeed.

With its shades of The Big Sleep and its obvious Raymond Chandler conventions, Harper for sure is hardly original. But it's so colourful, in more ways than one, it is able to hold its head up high and stand on its own two feet as a slickly constructed detective piece for the modern age. That it doffs its cap to those wonderful 40s & 50s movies should be applauded, not used as a stick to beat it with. From the off we know that Lew Harper may well be a cool dude that looks pretty, but he's also the sort of PI that is fallible and is prepared to go low to get his leads. As he fishes out dirty coffee filters from his garbage can to take his morning hit, we know we are in the presence of no ordinary detective. Where ever Harper goes he meets "interesting" characters, if they are not sticking a gun or a fist in his face, then they want something from him or intend to hinder his progress.
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5.0 out of 5 stars HARPER directed by Jack Smight 4 Aug 2014
By Yohji
A smartass California private eye going through a divorce is hired to find a missing millionaire by his unpleasant wife, only to get dragged into a sordid kidnapping plot involving a religious nut, a Jazz musician and illegal immigrants.

This is basically an update of the 40s/50s hardboiled PI flick - as an explicit nod, Lauren Bacall is cast as the wicked stepmother - only with lashings of 60s sunshine, smart-ass humour and offbeat characters.

Paul Newman is super-hip as the titular PI who, in time-honoured fashion, finds himself sassing the rich, getting conked over the back of the head, drinking in dive bars, facing up to femme fatales and finally working it all out.

The script by William Goldman is razor sharp, full of humanity, cynical wit and tough characters. Some of it has aged - the jazz-loving, heroin-taking beatniks among others - but it's a smart, slick film full of plot twists and great actors.
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