A lame spoof of the '40s private eye thriller. Doubts set in with the credits, read off by 'Humphrey Bogart' (impersonator Jerry Lacy) standing in a dark alley, although what follows could have worked if only the director and cast had found the right pace and inflection for WD Richter's script, a satisfying pastiche which has the nice touch of not having anyone killed. In addition, the depth of the sets, period detail, and richly dark photography all conspire against the film's stars. Wood makes a distinctly un-fatale contribution, and Caine looks totally miscast as a Cockney private eye in California; even Segal and Audran, so disappointing in The Black Bird, outclass them. Like that film, this comedy reworking of the detective thriller, a type of film that often carried enough wit of its own, invites only detrimental comparisons.

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