SHAMUS—-shame on us, for paying to see this back in 1973, but excuse is allowed because this was in the phase of Burt Reynold’s post-Deliverance career when he was alternating between winners (The Longest Yard) and misfires (Lucky Lady) and still had the fans on his side. Like another longtime toiler risen to the A-list, Charles Bronson, the full to-hell-with-it skid for Burt was still a few years off. Intended as something on the lines of Philip Marlowe and The Big Sleep, directed by Buzz Kulik, this lagged at #43 for the years earners, making around $5,000,000. Critics barely bothered to look up.
Private detective. Murky case. Beatings. Chicks fall for him. Among the Burtman’s cop & detective file, it flatfoots behind the satisfactorily solved Fuzz and Hustle, but at least ranks ahead of cold cases like Heat, Malone and Physical Evidence. Speaking of evident physicality, Reynold’s does display impressive muscle and flow in the rowdy action scenes. Too bad he’s let down by the lazy, generally distasteful script (“She doesn’t need protection. She’s flat-chested.“) Off-putting opener has a copulating couple incinerated by a flamethrower. Take that as a clue. With Dyan Cannon, John Ryan, Joe Santos. 106 minutes.