July 31, 1978 12:00 PM

There are more stars than in the heavens (as MGM used to advertise) in this parody of—as well as homage to—the detective classics of the past. Louise Fletcher takes on the Ingrid Bergman role from Casablanca; Madeline Kahn is The Maltese Falcon’s Mary Astor and Marsha Mason its Gladys George; Ann-Margret plays Lauren Bacall from To Have and Have Not. While these women hover around Peter Falk—a Lt. Columbo-cum-Sam Spade—Sid Caesar, Dom DeLuise, Paul Williams, Phil Silvers and others sneak in for vignettes. No matter who whistles it up, a spoof is only a spoof, but this one works better than the previous collaboration among Falk, producer Ray Stark and scenarist Neil Simon, Murder by Death. (PG)

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