Film Noir seems to a popular genre to spoof by filmmakers. "Peeper" is one of Michael Caine's earlier films and it did not do so well in the theatre so his fans and fans of Natalie Wood might not even be aware of the film until now, its release on DVD. For fans, the pairing of these two actors is a good one and they have a nice onscreen chemistry. They are not what is wrong with the film; it is the script. The film goes on and nothing really happens. Nothing that makes sense anyways. The plot that is thicker than the fog in Los Angeles must have frustrated viewers and that is what kept them away from the film. I think that director Peter Hyams (End of Days, Running Scared) is to blame for the lack of focus of the film. I know it is supposed to be a spoof, but it still has to have a story and a direction. Despite all its flaws, "Peeper" still is good fun and worth a watch.
Just so you know the lingo, peeper was slang for detective in the 1940s. Leslie Tucker (Michael Caine – The Cider House Rules, Children of Men) is a Los Angeles based private detective who is hired by the very wealthy Mr. Anglich (Michael Constantine – My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Juror) to find his long-lost daughter. As Tucker begins to follow the trail he meets one person who is stranger than the last. His investigation leads him to the wealthy Pendergast family. Tucker believes that one of the Pendergast daughters, either Ellen (Natalie Wood – West Side Story, Splendor in the Grass) or Mianne (Kitty Winn – The Exorcist, They Might Be Giants), might be Anglich's daughter. He just has to figure out which one because he is not getting any help from the family and everyone seems to have something to hide.
-A Conversation with Peter Hyams
-Peeping on film noir
-The Michael Caine Collection: Trailers of Deadfall and Magus