» » Gunn (1967)

Short summary

Peter Gunn investigates the murder of Scarlotti, a mobster who once saved the detective's life. The primary suspect appears to be Fusco, who has taken over. In the middle of the case, an unclothed woman calling her self Samantha shows up at Gunn's apartment. The investigation gets grizzlier as it goes on, including the bombing of Mother's, one of Gunn's hangouts. Finally, Fusco gives Gunn a deadline to prove the mobster didn't kill Scarlotti - or else Gunn will be killed.

Only Craig Stevens reprises his role from the television series. All other characters were recast.

Blake Edwards intended originally simply to produce this film, with William Friedkin directing. Friedkin turned it down because he disliked the script - something writer William Peter Blatty reminded him of after they had later collaborated successfully on "The Exorcist".

The plot of this film derives from the very first episode of the "Peter Gunn" television series, although it has been greatly expanded and makes use of plot details which would never have been permitted on American television in the 1950s.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Voodoosida
    This film was based upon the highly regarded "Peter Gunn" television series that ran from 1958 to 61. Running for five seasons to the unforgettable title theme and background music of early Henry Mancini, the show set a standard for script writing that proved, beyond doubt, television writing need not be the 'medium of 'hacks': even within the limits of a thirty minute format interrupted by commercials. This big screen treatment starring, once again, Craig Stevens as the suave, indomitable Gunn, failed at the box office, more a casualty of the changing times than the writing and acting-both of which were superb. Unfortunately this cinematic outing in color dimmed slightly in comparison to the television series that was shot, quite effectively, in a film noir format reminiscent of detective films of the 40's. Regardless, the crisp story line and plot is intriguing from beginning to end, with the intentional humor never once tripping over the drama (credit writer William Peter Blatey). I must admit, however, I truly missed two key characters from the original series played by Herschel Bernardi and Lola Albright: their replacements were nowhere near as effective. Nevertheless, the performance of Craig Stevens must be credited for recapturing the intellectually glib character of the title character,Peter Gunn: the thinking man's 'gumshoe'. This film deserves to be seen by all those who love a really good detective story.
  • comment
    • Author: Tiainar
    Will someone please find the Master cut of this great film and make it available to the general public?! I saw Gunn in the early 1970's on Television on two different occasions, on the ABC network in New York City. Of course the film was edited for content and to squeeze in the sponsors commercials, so ABC cut out the good stuff. The opening scenes of the couple sleeping on the yacht,then being sprayed with automatic machine gun fire until dead, set the pace for Henry Mancini's Theme song, Peter Gunn. (Peter Gunn's theme song is Much "Cooler than James Bond's folks).I vaguely remember other bits and pieces of the movie, so I would like to view it again, uncut. Can someone please shed some light on what happened to this Cool movie starring Craig Stevens, one of the coolest detectives ever to track a suspect? This movie should have been on Video ages ago. Now it should be on DVD for the world to see. If anyone knows of a way to get a copy of the film in any format, please e-mail the details. Best regards, JD
  • comment
    • Author: Fearlessrunner
    This movie is based on the very popular 1960's TV show "Peter Gunn." It was an early Blake Edwards effort that was unfortunately made three or four years too late. The film industry was already following the mood of the viewing public into the era of "relevance." Up against films like "The I.P.C.R.I.S. File" and "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold" it seemed lightweight and trivial. Too bad, because this film is clever, witty, well cast, well acted, well directed, well paced, well filmed, well edited and has a superb Henry Mancini score that is as good as movie music gets.

    "Gunn" is also a very good detective movie with a plot that is far above the average, as good as any Dashal Hammit story.

    "Gunn" is also Blake Edwards dress rehearsal for the "Pink Pnather." Using "TV Actors" and in-your-face Mid-60's Los Angelas waterfront locations, Edwards created a low budget film with a high budget look and feel. If it were released today it would easily rival "Pulp Fiction" and "Get Shorty" for box office and critical honors.

    If you want to see where "The Pink Panther" came from, or if you want to see what the early 60's in L.A. really looked like, or if you just want to see one of the best detective movies ever made, then take a look at "Gunn."
  • comment
    • Author: Foiuost
    While I'm a really big fan of the original series, "Gunn" is a disappointment. Style and memorable characters was the series strong suit, and you have one real standout here. J. Pat O'Mally is perfect as Peter Gunn's chief informant. However, even the usually banal plotting of Peter Gunn is surpassed by this weak script, which leaves too much background of the villain off-camera. It's left to Peter Gunn to explain much of the plot in the closing scenes. While beautiful and even more spectacularly put together than the original Edie (Lola Albright), Laura Devon is too young and has to little to do to make the needed impression as Gunn's main squeeze. Ed Asner suffers in comparison to Hershel Bernardi, as Lt. Jacoby, and his relationship with Gunn is far more antagonistic than that portrayed in the series. The harsh photography is not kind to Craig Stevens. Further, Sherry Jackson's character is poorly written and provides a demeaning stereotype as a "mystery woman," whose real identity should be no mystery to fans of bad mysteries. Further, Jackson's fate is ludicrous in retrospect, given her actions during the climax. Still, bad "Peter Gunn" is better than no "Peter Gunn" at all, and it is a shame this movie failed at the box office.

    A later Peter Gunn remake with Peter Strauss only reminds us how great Craig Stevens was in the role. Too bad Blake Edwards was unable to try again while Stevens was still young enough to play the part.

    It's also a shame the 1967 PLAYBOY pictorial didn't include any revealing shots of Devon or of Carol Wayne, who has a cameo. Jackson is really good eye candy, but Wayne and Devon would have made a sublime pictorial.

    Watch "Gunn" for the music and the memories, as that's about all you get.
  • comment
    • Author: Yellow Judge
    This film was inevitable as the late '60s -- following Paul Newman's hit "Harper" (1966) -- reinvented the '40s-'50s private eye yarn by adding more sex and violence. GUNN fits somewhere in the middle of this trend -- not as classy as "Harper" and "Deadlier Than the Male", not as cynical and gritty as Sinatra's "Tony Rome" films (1967-68). Craig Stevens, with his wry humor and effortless charm, rises above the material, much like James Garner in "Marlowe" (1969) -- a highly recommended film in this genre.

    Old school "Peter Gunn" fans will lament the absence of Lola Albright and Hershell Bernardi (a cranky Ed Asner fills in), but this should be seen on its own terms as a stand-alone film. The opening credits, with psychedelic graphics and jazzed up theme music, suggest a 007 spy film influence, but the story is a standard whodunit with gangsters and frequent murders. Some of these killings (like the diver with the spear gun) and plot turns don't make much sense or are needlessly complicated, but the fast pacing and supporting cast distracts one from worrying about the details. The sex appeal quotient is ramped up considerably by gorgeous Sherry Jackson (sadly, stunning Carol Wayne only has a cameo at the end). Jackson even did a Playboy pictorial to promote the film. And, for an added plot twist, writer-director Blake Edwards indulges in his strange obsession with gender bending (Victor Victoria, Switch, et al,).

    All in all, this is a slick, breezy, enjoyable detective yarn that moves along with strategically placed scenes of action, humor, and eye candy. It is very much a product of the late '60s. (Will someone please release this, along with "P.J." and "Rogue's Gallery", on disc already?) In the next decade this genre would get darker and more complex with The Long Goodbye (1973), Chinatown (1974), and Night Moves (1975).
  • comment
    • Author: Bolanim
    This 1967 film lacks the luster of the late 50's, early 60's TV show. Replacement of key roles of Edie, Mother and Lt. Jacoby by others takes away from the viewer familiarity with the "Peter Gunn" they loved on the TV show. The story is fine, the women are gorgeous and seeing it in color is also a plus for a feature film. The camera work is good, but lacks the "feel" the black and white show gave us. Peter Gunn didn't lose his charm with age. His attraction by the women in this film is understandable. I could also understand why this film didn't do well at the box office. Peter Gunn is jazz. This film came out at the height of the British Invasion of Rock & Roll. Younger people would relate this film to their parents likes not theirs. Like fine wine, this film looks pretty good now. The jazz is good. If you get the chance watch it. It could have been a "10" but for the reasons I outlined, I'll give it a solid "7"
  • comment
    • Author: Ylal
    I recall "Peter Gunn" as a TV Series when I was a teenager and to tell the truth, I watched this mainly on-line at Netflix to see Sherry Jackson as she was my number one teenage crush back in the 1960s. Sherry is beautiful in this film and with Blake Edwards and William Peter Blatty's screenplay and Blake's direction, the whole film takes me back to the best of the 1960's P.I. television fare. The snappy dialog, Ed Asner's droll police lieutenant and the very risqué ending for the times, just added a cherry on top of seeing Sherry Jackson as I recalled her in all her sexy kitten verve.

    Gadzooks, she was hot! And a much better actress than any of her parts every allowed her to show--
  • comment
    • Author: Modifyn
    "Something about a new grave makes me want to get drunk, run a 4 minute mile and shacking up with a red-head...not necessarily in that order"

    I have only seen a few episodes of the old black & white "Peter Gunn" shows starring Craig Stevens. So, my watching and reviewing "Gunn" probably won't mean as much as a review from a die-hard fan of the series. So, while IMDb tells us that none of the original characters are here in this movie, I wouldn't know...aside from Stevens. But I do distinctly remember that the TV show was not nearly as sexy as this film! Here, the women (or shall I say Sam) are almost like those in a Bond film...willing to shed their clothes at a moment's notice. Though, since it was made for TV, you don't see anything...but it still has so much in the way of salacious content that I wonder if it was indeed a made for TV film like IMDb indicates. See this very violent, sexy and bizarre film and you'll see what I mean!!

    Overall, I'd recommend this film but realize that it's an aberration--a film that COULDN'T have been like the TV program. The acting is quite good (it's nice to see Ed Asner and Albert Paulsen) and the plot is strange with a really unique twist at the end. Well worth seeing and I might have liked more...

    By the way, although I've seen it in about a half dozen films, a spear gun is NOT a very effective weapon outside the water. It's not that accurate and a gun or bow would make a lot more sense. Neat..but illogical.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Craig Stevens Craig Stevens - Peter Gunn
    Laura Devon Laura Devon - Edie
    Edward Asner Edward Asner - Police Lt. Jacoby
    Albert Paulsen Albert Paulsen - Nick Fusco
    Sherry Jackson Sherry Jackson - Samantha
    Helen Traubel Helen Traubel - Mother
    Jerry Douglas Jerry Douglas - Dave Corwin
    J. Pat O'Malley J. Pat O'Malley - Tinker
    Regis Toomey Regis Toomey - The Bishop
    George Murdock George Murdock - Archie
    Frank Kreig Frank Kreig - Barney
    Lincoln Demyan Lincoln Demyan - Julio Scarlotti
    Chanin Hale Chanin Hale - Scarlotti's Mistress
    Charles Dierkop Charles Dierkop - Lazlo Joyce
    Mikel Angel Mikel Angel - Rasputin
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