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Gumshoe (film): Wikis


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Gumshoe is a 1971 film, and was the directorial debut of British director Stephen Frears.

Written by local author Neville Smith, the film is set in Liverpool with Albert Finney playing the role of Eddie Ginley. Ginley is a bingo-caller and occasional club comedian who dreams of being a private eye of the kind he knows from films and pulp novels. Having put an advertisement in a local newspaper (the Liverpool Echo) as a birthday present to himself, Ginley is suddenly contacted for what appears to be an actual piece of detective work...

The film has many comic moments as it switches between detective novel and affectionate spoof. It has some shots of Liverpool buildings that have long since been demolished, including the employment exchange on Leece Street.

Gumshoe was the first of two films to be have original music scores by Andrew Lloyd-Webber (the other was The Odessa File, in 1974). Some of the music was re-used in Lloyd-Weber's musical version of Sunset Boulevard (1993).

Despite its relatively lightweight tone, Frears' film is not without its contentious moments. TV broadcasts are nowadays rare because of the important scene in which Ginley uses an insult now considered unacceptably racist. Another scene was seriously (and obtrusively) shortened before release because of its detailed depiction of a heroin-user preparing and taking his 'fix'.

After years of unavilability, Gumshoe was released on DVD in 2009.

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