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  Cry Uncle Private Dick
Year: 1971
Director: John G. Avildsen
Stars: Allen Garfield, Madeleine Le Roux, Devin Goldenberg, David Kirk, Sean Walsh, Debbi Morgan, Paul Sorvino
Genre: Comedy, Sex, Thriller, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Jake Masters, a slobbish New York detective (Allen Garfield) is hired by a millionaire businessman to find out who has framed him for the murder of an actress.

After making the acclaimed Joe and before making Save the Tiger and Rocky, director John G. Avildsen offered up this sex comedy-mystery scripted by David Odell. Cry Uncle is proof that Britain didn't entirely have the monopoly on unfunny softcore comedies in the seventies.

The convoluted story is very much in the style of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe adventures, but unfortunately Garfield will remind you more of Jackie Gleason than Humphrey Bogart. It isn't exactly what you could call erotic, either, mainly because almost every sex scene features the lardy, hairy, wobbly Garfield in a state of undress (at least he keeps his hat on). The only sex scene without him features the weird looking Madeleine Le Roux (as the femme fatale) and Masters' nephew, but is played out to the strains of the American national anthem on the TV.

Some of the details are odd. Masters drinks milk instead of alcohol. Listen for the dialogue of the strange film playing on late night TV, which prominently features a neighing horse. And watch for the hippies lying around, spaced out on an acid trip. But there's one scene that you can guarantee Robin Askwith would never have participated in: the film's most notorious sequence, where Masters takes advantage of what he believes is a catatonic junkie, but who turns out to be a murdered junkie. Bleuch.

The plot is confusing, most of the acting is amatuerish, comedy falls flat and Garfield rambles his way through the film. But at least you can say he went on to better things. As you can, instead of watching Cry Uncle. Music by Harper MacKay.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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