Gunn (1967)

Gunn (1967)

“Maybe Nick Fusco didn’t pull the trigger — but it’s a lead pipe cinch he gave the order. Get him for me, Pete. I’m a hustler, but I don’t like being hustled.”

Los Angeles detective Peter Gunn (Craig Stevens) investigates a murder while trying to escape those who want him dead.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Blake Edwards Films
  • Detectives and Private Eyes
  • Los Angeles
  • Murder Mystery

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary’s entire review for this little-seen “disappointment” seems predicated on comparisons with its predecessor, the 1950s TV series “Peter Gunn”. He notes that Stevens “looks tired and old as Gunn”:

… and argues “it’s upsetting that Ed Asner replaced Herschel Bernardi as Lieutenant Jacoby:

and Laura Devon took over Lola Albright’s Edie role.”

He adds that the “murder-mystery script by [director Blake] Edwards and William Peter Blatty is extremely confusing,” and complains that “the picture hasn’t the icy, smoky atmosphere of the TV series”. Since I’d never seen the show, I had no such preconceptions when viewing it, and actually found it most enjoyable. It’s full of unusual characters, interesting locales, snappy dialogue, and sexy humor, and is worth a one-time look if you’re curious.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Sherry Jackson as a mysterious girl who shows up in Gunn’s bedroom unannounced
  • Fine use of unusual locales — such as a nightclub named “The Ark”, with sets of twins roaming around
  • A surprising plot-twist in the final moments
  • Henry Mancini’s score

Must See?
No, but it’s good private eye flick, and sure to be of interest to fans of the T.V. series.


2 thoughts on “Gunn (1967)

  1. First viewing. I agree, not a must. It’s perplexing that Peary would single this out for inclusion in the main must-see section. My guess is that he just had a fondness for the Peter Gunn tv series. The film is unimaginatively photographed–like a lot of 60s television–and the flatness hurts a lot. Stevens makes a suave detective (and his initial scene w/ Jackson is perhaps the film’s highlight), but throughout I kept thinking of Leslie Nielsen in the ‘Police Squad’/’Naked Gun’ series (!): it’s possible that Jim Abrahams and the Zucker Brothers found inspiration in a detective with the kind of sense of humor that could be stretched to buffoonery. No doubt a certain group would find the film’s final plot-twist offensive. Even though ‘Gunn’ is the work of Blake Edwards and ‘Exorcist’ author William Peter Blatty, it’s not that memorable.

  2. No, you’re right — not overly memorable, though certainly enjoyable for the moment while watching. I’m sure Peary reviewed it in his book simply out of nostalgic fondness for the TV series — which I must say I’m curious to check out (it’s been released onto DVD), just as a comparison.

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