Harper (1966) is cool. Cool is the best word I can use to describe it. This adjective can be applied to the story, Paul Newman, Pamela Tiffin, the set decor, the designs, the clothes, the cars and the locales. Lew Harper (Paul Newman) is a cool private detective who has been having some bad luck lately. His wife Susan (Janet Leigh) wants nothing to do with him and business as a detective has been kind of slow. His lawyer-friend Albert Graves (Arthur Hill) gets him a juicy job searching for Richard Sampson, the missing husband of an invalid millionairess (Lauren Bacall). Harper sets out to look for the drunk millionaire along with playboy pilot Alan (Robert Wagner) and Sampson's hot daughter Miranda (Pamela Tiffin). Harper encounters a medly of strange characters along the way, including Julie Harris as an addict and Shelley Winters as an out of work entertainer, and finds out the sordid details of Sampson's life and the people in it.
Pamela Tiffin's role as Miranda is vastly different from the ditzy brunette roles of the other films I've seen of hers. Miranda Sampson is a bitter and jaded rich girl. She's had a difficult relationship with her father who had an obsession with money, women and booze. Her daddy issues prevent her from having healthy relationships with men. Lawyer Albert Graves is in love with her but she keeps him at arms length only until she needs him. Cool detective Lew Harper is new and exciting and she keeps chasing him even though he rejects her advances everytime. Then there is playboy Alan. Their relationship is purely physical, a way for both of them to pass the time in their otherwise boring lives.
Like most jaded rich characters, Miranda enjoys pushing boundaries and testing people. There is a numbness that comes with privilege and Miranda is desperate for something, anything that will awaken her senses. Driving fast cars and toying with people are among her hobbies. Her step-mother is a constant target of a barrage of insults which are fired right back at her. Miranda needles Harper about his impending divorce and he delivers the great line You've got a way of starting conversations that end conversations.
Pamela Tiffin also tests the limit of gravity by dancing to some cheesy '60s music on a diving board. Now I leave you with some pictures from the film of this breathtakingly beautiful actress. Enjoy...