(Paul Krasny, 1974)
The first hint that TV hack Krasny is not up to the job is that he allows Wally MacSween's PI to get away with the most dumbfounding faith-and-begorrah Limey routine on record. Granted, the director's utter lack of control also bequeaths us James McEachin's fun riff on the cop; he's so energetic and lifelike he seems marooned in this film. Peter Haskell's lead performance is merely blank, and inoffensive enough that for a while you are happy enough to amble along with him as he seeks the secret identity of Barbara Parkins' paper-marriage conspirator. I grudgingly forgave several dead-end plot contrivances and barely tolerated Haskell's pigheaded romanticism in the forlorn hope that events would pick up in the third act, but instead things go straight to hell, and not in a fun way. A 'good girl' sidekick is laboriously set up, deployed for two worthless scenes and then forgotten entirely, and subsequently Parkins reveals her motives in a comically unrelenting fit of confessional glossolalia that attains unprecedented levels of ill-motivated boredom. By the time Haskell signals the film's end by passively meandering off screen, his blankness is no longer inoffensive. At which point you angrily realize that you've been suckered into watching the whole stupid mess by nothing more than the mesmeric heft of Parkins' variously attired boobs.