Cinema: Old Wave Manhunt

Harper. As a gum-chewing gumshoe named Harper, Paul Newman stirs awake, forces open his burnt-out baby-blue eyes, and begins to assess the odds against his peace of mind. His Los Angeles office is a rat's nest where the private eye sometimes holes up to sleep. The TV sits humming dumbly through a test pattern that testifies to a restless night. From a wastebasket Harper retrieves some sodden coffee grounds in a filter, brews and glumly drinks a stale, disgusting cupful. Moments later, he roars along the freeway in a rattletrap sports car that has...

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