The new 70s retro trailer for Shane Black's The Nice Guys is a lovely bit of patchwork fakery that made me instantly nostalgic.
Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling star. The plot doesn't matter as much as the mood and music and mystery of some kind of investigation taking place in the wilds of Hollywood in the 1970s. Not only is 70s cinema a personal sweet spot, but I grew up in Los Angeles and so ... I love this.
But, memory being what it is, it made me wonder about the trailers for police and private detective stories, made in the 70s and set in 70s Los Angeles. Click through the gallery for a few examples. And please add further suggestions in the comments.
Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye is probably the most notable comparison point. Released -- more than once, if I recall correctly -- in 1973, it starred Elliott Gould as Phillip Marlowe and definitely stands up to repeat viewings. It also reminds me why my father warned me to never go to Hollywood.
The previous year, Hickey and Boggs followed private detectives Bill Cosby and Robert Culp in Los Angeles. It's a down and dirty picture, written by the great Walter Hill and directed by Culp. It's not the most dynamic movie, but I love the harsh textures and gritty view of the city. The trailer hints at what lies ahead.
"I'm coming to get your honky ass." OK, I've never seen this movie, but this trailer makes me want to see immediately. Robert Hooks stars as "a combination pool shark, private detective, and all-purpose ghetto fixer who operates out of a billiards parlor in South Central Los Angeles," per Wikipedia.
In 1972, The New Centurions presented an unexpected view of the Los Angeles Police Department, based on (former cop) Joseph Wambaugh's terrific novel. George C. Scott mapped out 'cop with great reputation but questionable methods' 30 years before Denzel Washington in Training Day. Richard Fleischer directed.
Frankly, the location shooting in the Florida Keys stands out more in my memory, but Los Angeles is the home base of private eye Harry Moseby (Gene Hackman). Before Harry leaves town in search of a missing teenager, he must deal with certain L.A. types, like James Woods.
This 30-second TV spot doesn't quite suggest the full extent of the depravity that George C. Scott encounters as he searches for his daughter in the dark and dangerous porn world of 1979. Paul Schrader wrote and directed. Scott may not be an actual detective, but that's what he starts doing after the film's private detective (Peter Boyle) turns up disturbing evidence
Just as a final comparison point, Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's novel is set in 1970 Los Angeles.