Created by Jose Pablo Feinmann
Nervous, weaselly private eye EDDIE BIANCO (The Practice‘s Michael Badalucco) teams up with his old buddy, mouthy piano man Jack Hanaway (Dennis Leary), a bitterly caustic would-be writer with a drinking problem, in this competent, straight-to-video B-flick. Kevin Thomas of the L.A. Times called it “intelligent and stylish but not nearly original enough to warrant a trip to your local multiplex.”
Which seems more or less fair. We’ve all seen this stuff before, but it’s always fun to see it again… when it’s done right.
And this one is mostly done right.
With the help of Jack’s ooh-la-la torch singer girlfriend (and musical partner at Long Island’s Blue Cat Lounge), Vicki Rivas (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon), he and Eddie come up with what they think is a surefire scheme. They plan a honey trap for local billionaire (Terence Stamp), who has a thing for Vicki, but is married to a demanding and jealous woman.
Well-cast and a solid showcase for edgy comic Leary who offers withering commentary in voiceover narration, while veteran actor Terence Stamp (having him around is always a good thing for a film) shines as the wealthy sucker who’s not quite the patsy he seems. Badalucco is a revelation, more than holding his own in the relatively small, but crucial role of the sweaty, schlubby private eye.
The Times goes on to conclude that “Like a lot of other neo-noirs, Love Walked In… could just as easily have been made in the ’40s, drawing more from other movies than real life.”
I liked this one and found it a slightly above average, with some nice—if predictable–noir tropes, but not quite great. Maybe with a little more time or money? Roger Ebert and a slew of online reviewers, however, weren’t quite as enthralled.
- “…the elements are here for a decent film noir. There is, first of all, good casting. Leary has been in a lot of movies lately, but this is the one where he really emerges: He began as a comedian learning to act, but now you can see that he has the stuff, that given a good script he could handle an important role… The plot whips itself into a frenzied payoff… Love Walked In has the right moves for noir: the melancholy, the sexiness, the cigarettes, the shadows. But you have to believe in the characters, and their capacity for evildoing. These characters act like they saw Double Indemnity on TV once, and thought they could do that stuff themselves, and were wrong.”
— Roger Ebert
- LOVE WALKED IN | Buy this video | Buy the DVD | Watch it now!
(1998, Columbia Home Video)
Premiere: January 18, 1997 (at Sundance)
Adapted from a novel by Jose Pablo Feinmann
Written by Juan Jose Campanella, Lynn Geller and Larry Golin
Directed by Juan Jose Campanella
Producer: Ricardo Freixa
Executive Producer: Jorge Estrada Mora
A TriStar Pictures Presentation of a Jempsa Entertainment and Apostle Pictures Production
Starring Denis Leary as Jack Hanaway
and Michael Badalucco as EDDIE BIANCO
and Terence Stamp as Fred Moore
Also starring Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, Marj Dusay, Danny Nucci, Moira Kelly, Neal Huff, J.K. Simmons
THE DICK OF THE DAY
- May 13, 2023
The Bottom Line: This straight-to-video 1997 neo-noir has The Practice’s schlubby Michael Badalucco as a struggling PI working with a cynical piano player (Dennis Leary) and his girlfriend to scam a wealthy business man (Terence Stamp).
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.