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Hickey & Boggs
Hickey Boggs
Actors: Bill Cosby, Robert Culp, Ta-Ronce Allen, Rosalind Cash, Lou Frizzell
Director: Robert Culp
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
NR

Bill Cosby and Robert Culp star as two down-on-their-luck Private Investigators who accept a routine request to locate a missing woman, little knowing they would be sent scrambling for their lives in a sizzling, violent...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Bill Cosby, Robert Culp, Ta-Ronce Allen, Rosalind Cash, Lou Frizzell
Director: Robert Culp
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: A.I.P. Productions, Inc.
Format: DVD
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Hickey and Boggs
Thomas Crown | Peoria, AZ United States | 06/22/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)

"100% PURE DRECK! I am a former 35mm film collector who once had
this print in my collection. I also am a union projectionist and ran this film in Detroit area theatres when it first came out. When you buy DVD you expect DVD quality. This copy looks like a third or fourth generation dub from a worn out VHS tape in SLP mode. Some day MGM/UA will release a pristine print. In the meantime, save your money!"
Detectives Aren't Heroes Anymore.
mirasreviews | McLean, VA USA | 04/09/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A few years after their successful run as partners in espionage on television's "I Spy", Robert Culp and Bill Cosby teamed up for "Hickey & Boggs", a cynical 1972 neo-noir that Culp directed. Far from the adventurous, optimistic duo that Culp and Cosby portrayed in "I Spy", Al Hickey (Bill Cosby) and Frank Boggs (Robert Culp) are private investigators with a dearth of clients and abundance of personal problems. They are hired by a Mr. Rice (Lester Fletcher) to locate a woman named Mary Jane Bower and given a short list of her known acquaintances. The first person on the list is found dead, the bodies pile up, the guns get bigger, and the police lose their patience with the detectives' habit of withholding evidence. But Mary Jane (Carmen) seems to be the key to the loot from a big armored car heist, so Hickey and Boggs keep plugging away, with a $25,000 reward at stake and little left to lose.

"Hickey & Boggs" excels in presenting the private investigator as an emasculated relic, barely able to make a living, at odds with the police, relegated by laws and modernity to being "nothing but process servers". The opposite in many ways of the pre-WWII heroic detectives like Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe. Even their antiquated firearms illustrate the obsolescence of the P.I.. This isn't a respectable profession any more. Ex-cop Hickey and world-weary, alcoholic Boggs take their clients' money, unconcerned that they are criminals. No one is especially sympathetic, and it is difficult to say who is victim and who is predator, as the fences, Mary Jane, and the detectives seem to be both. The unremitting cynicism and enfeebled protagonists aren't to everyone's taste, but they are typical of film noir of the 1970s.

The first half of "Hickey & Boggs" is riddled with short, out-of-context scenes of Mary Jane's activities that don't make sense until later. The confusion diminishes somewhat as the film progresses, but the plot never does entirely come together. Mary Jane and her partner must fence the money, because the bills are too big for them to spend. But the actions of the various fences who compete for the money don't make sense. Mary Jane is trying to break $1000 bills, which were taken out of circulation in 1969 and had not been printed since 1945. Those look like new bills in the movie. This story didn't need to be as disjointed as it is. I would excuse the confusion early in the film if it reflected the detectives' state of mind, but it really doesn't, because they are following a different trail of evidence. Nevertheless, "Hickey & Boggs" is a heavy dose of pessimism that will more than satisfy the misanthrope in anyone.

The DVD (AIP Studios 2004): This is a terrible transfer of a terrible print. It is very grainy and actually fuzzy. Some additional problems occur around the one-hour mark: At 56 minutes, the picture jumps a few times. At 59 minutes, there are wide bands across the top of the screen. At 1 hour, 5 minutes, there are some thin white lines. Suffice it to say that the picture is bad, but it's watchable. Don't buy this disc unless you absolutely have to have the film. The only bonus features are text bios of Bill Cosby and Robert Culp, which include selected filmographies."
Terrific film, really bad DVD
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 02/06/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"You can tell how bad the DVD is of this film; the website for which I am doing this review does not even list this title on DVD anymore. No question, it is a terrible DVD transfer. I am giving this three stars because it's a great film. The screenplay is by none other than Walter Hill and one of the two leads, Robert Culp, directed--as far as I know, his only feature film directorial effort (he did direct a number of TV show episodes, different shows).

This is a tough as nails noir film with Culp and Bill Cosby as two cynical PIs who get mixed up in a money laundering caper to the tune of 400 grand from a prior bank heist. Also involved are a slick crime boss and his henchmen--one of them is played by a very young Michael Moriarty--and, echoing Chandler, an effeminate lawyer, as well as the cops. The main two of that group are Vincent Gardenia, Sgt. Papadakis, and another early appearance, this time by James Woods at Lt. Wyatt.

But the two title characters carry the film and they do a great job. The dialogue is razor sharp and probably the most cynical in any film from the 70s, and maybe even since then. These two guys are so jaded and emotionally hollowed out that when a tragic loss hits one of them, the other one engages in semi-banter to cheer the first guy up, not even offering any sympathy.

Each of them carries an extra-long barrel revolver; each of them always wears a suit. Boggs (Culp) drinks too much. Each of them is divorced, but Hickey has dreams of getting back together with his wife while Boggs watches his ex dance in a strip club.

As a writer, Walter Hill is almost always great and here he shows his stuff to the max. Hill knows his noir; he smacks the viewer in the face with it, knowing just how far to go without being completely alienating. He's a master screenwriter, no question.

It's really too bad that the DVD quality of this film is so miserable. Maybe one day a clean crisp transfer will be available. Until then, as many others here have said, the VHS copy actually shows better video quality than the crappy DVD. Shame on AIP for putting out such a piece of trash for such a punchy film."
Great film, miserable DVD
blullew | west palm beach, florida United States | 06/04/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD is an example of two extremes. One being that he actual film is terrific, a hard boiled detective film with solid performances, especially from Bill Cosby, and a good story. But the other extreme is unforgivable. This is arguably the worst quality DVD ever presented on the commercial market. Words could not do justice in describing the wretched quality of this product. It is an absolute travesty that a movie of this calibre will probably go down in history as the worst DVD transfer of all time!!!!"