P.J. Film Details
Overview: A down-on-his-luck New York private eye takes a bodyguard job for the death-threatened mistress of a shady millionaire and gets involved in conspiracy and murder.
Tagline: Gun in one hand…Woman in the other!
Review: I happened to see this movie in it’s original release and thought it was terrific. Then years later I caught a network TV showing, and thought I was watching a completely different, and much worse movie. The butchery by the censors was truly breathtaking. Almost every aspect of the film, including most of its more memorable scenes, were deleted and replaced by some other plot that was about something else entirely. Recently I came across a (bootleg) copy of the original uncut film, and it mostly confirmed my positive memory. P.J. is one of the most entertaining action movies of the sixties, and deserves to be seen in its original form. P.J. Detweiler (Peppard) is a former Marine and Korea vet whose career as a private eye is not exactly flourishing – he works out of a New York bar and seems to owe everybody money. Things start to look up when he is hired by super-rich William Orbison (Raymond Burr) as a bodyguard for Orbison’s high-priced mistress Maureen (Gayle Hunnicutt). Turns out that Orbison and Maureen are surrounded by a grotesque entourage of relatives and flunkies – who’s out to kill whom anyway? After a series of violent and sexy set-pieces, and a side trip to a Caribbean island, P.J. starts to think he is being set up and decides to solve the mystery on his own dime. One of the main reasons the original film has been suppressed is a scene in which one of the characters lures P.J. to a Greenwich Village gay bar (“The Gay Caballero”) where he is attacked by a gang of thuggish leather boys. That scene would not be handled the same way today, but it is a fairly small incident in the context of the film. Another of the many scenes deleted or censored in the TV version is the opening credits sequence, in which P.J. participates in a motel-room entrapment of an unfaithful wife. The 6.4 rating here on IMDB is almost certainly skewed by people who saw only the TV version. The original deserves much higher, at least a 7.2. I can’t quite call it a classic, but it is without doubt one of the most enjoyable action movies of its era. It’s very much a sixties film, filled with bright primary colors, eye-winking sexiness, and tongue-in-cheek humor almost from the James bond mold. Peppard is a very likable hero and makes you wish for the never-made sequel. It’s also fun to see Burr revert to his pre-Perry Mason persona as a heavy. You will enjoy this movie – if you can find it, that is.
Country: United States
Duration: 109 min
Genre: Action, Drama, Mystery
Also known as: P.J.,Der Gnadenlose,Sidste advarsel,Norainu no wana,New Face in Hell,野良犬の罠,La senda del crimen,Criss Cross,Uma Nova Cara no Inferno,Facce per l’inferno,Syndicat du meurtre,Sağında silah solunda kadın,Пи Джей,Al umbral del infierno,Kainourgio prosopo stin Kolasi,Bodyguard P.J.,De samvetslösa,Likaiset kortit