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Chandler (1971)

A hardboiled aging private eye is hired to find and protect a missing government witness sought after by the gangsters. The witness is a beautiful French woman and even the cops can't be trusted. The case is tough, but so is Chandler.


Paul Magwood


Paul Magwood (story), John Sacret Young


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Warren Oates ... Chandler
Leslie Caron ... Katherine Creighton
Alex Dreier ... Ross J. Carmady
Mitchell Ryan ... Charles 'Chuck' Kincaid
Gordon Pinsent ... John Melchior
Charles McGraw ... Bernie Oakman
Richard Loo ... Leo
Gloria Grahame ... Selma
Royal Dano ... Sal Sachese (scenes deleted)
Walter Burke ... Zeno
Marianne McAndrew ... Angel Carter
Scatman Crothers ... Smoke
Lal Baum Lal Baum ... Waxwell
Charles Shull Charles Shull ... Binder Ransin
John Mitchum ... Rudy, Bartender


A hardboiled aging private eye is hired to find and protect a missing government witness sought after by the gangsters. The witness is a beautiful French woman and even the cops can't be trusted. The case is tough, but so is Chandler.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Chandler is a private eye. It's a hard way to make a living... and an easy way to die.


Crime | Drama


See all certifications »






Release Date:

1 December 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Open Shadow See more »

Filming Locations:

Pebble Beach, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Chandler's olive-drab car is a 1946 or 1947 Plymouth Deluxe four door sedan (series P15). Base MSRP was only $1,164 ($14,400 in 2016 dollars). See more »


When Carmady shoots the man in the parking structure a loud report can be heard from inside the car; yet when Kincaid shows up, and Carmady hands him the gun it has a suppressor on the barrel of a revolver. Which anyone knows does not suppress the blast. See more »


Katherine Creighton: What are you?
Chandler: I'm a relic.
Katherine Creighton: I can see that.
Chandler: I got tired. Thought I'd go up to San Quentin, and strap myself into an electric chair.
Katherine Creighton: Except at San Quentin, it's the gas chamber...
Katherine Creighton: Nothing ever works out.
See more »


Featured in Warren Oates: Across the Border (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the worst movies I've ever seen
9 August 2009 | by jonjmcurrySee all my reviews

I saw this film when it was first released. The memory of how bad it was has stayed with me almost forty years. I didn't want to trust my own sentiments about the movie when I saw it, so I consulted a movie review published in a major metropolitan newspaper the next day- sentiment confirmed, the reviewer wrote that the movie was incoherent, indecipherable, and uninspiring. A little research reveals that the producer was star Leslie Caron's husband, thus the whiff of nepotism suggests the beginning for this awful film. The film's roster of many capable actors - Caron, Warren Oates, Scatman Crothers, Gloria Grahame, and James Sikking among others - suggests that it holds some promise. But the death of this film is attributable to its terrible screenplay. The "mystery" implicated is so obscure and so little revealed throughout the film that the viewer is left perplexed from scene to scene. The movie seems torn between being a detective mystery and an espionage thriller, but never settles upon one or the other. The sense of suspense is entirely absent. The main characters settle on playing dry, emotionless types in a fashion that inspires no empathy whatsoever. The cinematography is pedestrian. The result is that the hapless viewer loses interest in the characters, the plot, and, in the end, the film itself. I am little surprised that there is no version of this pathetic film available to purchase. I hope that if TCM finds a print of this film and feels compelled to air it that it is safely relegated to the 4:00 am slot.

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