THE LATE SHOW (1977) C 93m dir: Robert Benton

w/Art Carney, Lily Tomlin, Bill Macy, Eugene Roche, Joanna Cassidy, John Considine, Howard Duff, Ruth Nelson, John Davy

A sardonic, affectionate paean to the private eye genre flicks of the 1940s and 1950s. The film benefits greatly from a touching, nicely underplayed performance by Carney as a washed-up, aging private eye determined to solve one last tantalizing case. He and Tomlin, who also does wonderful work here, make a very appealing pair. But the major credit for the success of the film goes to director Benton, who was nominated for an Oscar for his wise and knowing Original Screenplay.