Newest Reviews
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
We Need to Do Something
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Newest Articles
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
  Shamus A Flirt With Burt
Year: 1973
Director: Buzz Kulik
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Dyan Cannon, John P. Ryan, Joe Santos, Giorgi Tozzi, Ron Weyand, Larry Block, Beeson Carroll, Kevin Conway, Kay Frye, John Glover, Merwin Goldsmith, Melody Santangello, Irving Selbst, Alex Wilson, John Amato Jr, Lou Martell
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Action, Thriller, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: A murder occurred in New York City recently where a flamethrower was used on a man and his wife as they made love in bed; the protective suit-clad attackers had broken the skylight above, killed the couple and stolen their safe. What does this have to do with private detective Shamus McCoy (Burt Reynolds)? He's about to find out as he is woken from his slumber in his one room apartment where he sleeps on a pool table, and finds himself alongside the woman he went home with last night with the phone ringing. He answers it and is told a millionaire businessman E.J. Hume (Ron Weyand) wishes to see him with a job offer, so nursing his hangover McCoy drags himself into the day...

In 1973 a detective movie updating the conventions of forties crime fiction to the seventies was released which didn't do great business at the time but has gone on to be a cult favourite: that was Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye, a controversial Raymond Chandler adaptation. But there was another, surprisingly similar in detail private eye flick out the same year (they even share the same cat, Morris of pet food commercial fame), and that starred the man who was fast becoming the most major Hollywood leading actor of the decade, Burt Reynolds. Shamus has been largely forgotten down the passage of time, whereas its counterpart contained a cool endurance this didn't have, but that's not to say this doesn't have its fans.

It does, mainly thanks to a mood which in spite of harking back to an earlier period was very seventies indeed which many fans are keen to wallow in, and also because it was very easy to watch on late night television should it show up there, a sure sign that a movie was carrying out its job properly. Of this type, anyway, though there were aspects which were less palatable than the creators may have intended: it may have been rated PG in America when it came out, but it was pretty brutal in places even if Burt shrugs off the beatings he receives. The opening scene is particularly jarring, a way over the top display of violence that apparently people in this era thought was fine for family audiences to watch, and the Shamus character has a propensity for doling out physical punishment himself.

The main difference being that he doesn't kill anyone, which makes it all right one presumes. As for the plot he is embroiled in, good luck trying to work out what was actually going on by the point the end credits roll, because Barry Beckerman's script could have done with a few rewrites to clear up a lot of the obscurities as the hero wades further into the swamp of confusion. It's debatable whether he knows what is really happening himself, and is merely sallying forth into the morass of conspiracies and lowlifes because now he's here he might as well continue, though there are compensations as he seems to find a woman to pick up at every turn, one in a straight lift from The Big Sleep, and one Dyan Cannon, playing Alexis Montaigne.

Who she? Alexis is the sister of a man involved with whatever gun running/diamond robbery crimes might be going on, which in fashionably anti-establishment manner has a military Colonel (John P. Ryan) somehow instrumental in diverting arms away from their official intentions. Really most of the diversion here stemmed from watching Burt negotiate the criminals, characters and dames as if he were a less ethical Humphrey Bogart, so he introduces himself to Alexis by pinching her bottom and pretending someone else did it (an obviously camp homosexual, because that's the laughs they were aiming for), and one of his pals is a sporting statistics-spouting eccentric and gambler (Larry Block) who threatens to steal scenes from under the star's nose. On the subject of which, Burt had a moustache in this one, which might have indicated he was in a more relaxed mode, though he does get to cry in Shamus, and performs a stunt which patently went wrong but was so dramatic they kept it in anyway. Action, humour, sex appeal, it was all here bar the coherence. Music by Jerry Goldsmith.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2675 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: