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The Private Eyes (1981)

4.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tim Conway, Don Knotts, Trisha Noble, Bernard Fox, Grace Zabriskie
  • Directors: Lang Elliott
  • Writers: Tim Conway, John Myhers
  • Producers: Lang Elliott, Wanda Dell
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: eOne Films Distribution
  • Release Date: Nov. 11 2003
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 6305976481
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Product Description

Product Description

Tim Conway, Don Knotts. The most inept investigators in the history of Scotland Yard are dispatched to a mansion to solve a murder. A classic comedy the whole family will enjoy! 1981/color/97 min/PG/fullscreen.


Don Knotts and Tim Conway star in The Private Eyes, a 1980 comedy about two bumbling detectives solving a murder. It's an impressively incompetent affair. Every ancient joke falls with a muffled thud as Knotts and Conway ham their way through the pointless story: The lord and lady of a capacious manor are killed, and the lord's ghost seems to have returned to knock off the staff one by one. There's an austere housekeeper, a snooty butler with compulsive twitches, a sexy upstairs maid, a deformed groomsman, and a buxom young heir to the estate, who of course is going to be in some state of undress before the movie is over. People get killed, their bodies disappear, Knotts and Conway wander aimlessly through secret passageways, dimly seeking some way out of this movie. Conway cowrote the script, so he gets most of the blame; Knotts was probably just happy to have the work. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
First the DVD review: This DVD was/is put out by "Hens Tooth" video. (Hens Tooth?) Features the original theatrical trailer, which in itself is a gem; a wonderful stills gallery featuring behind the scenes making of the movie...priceless! And an awesome commentary by Tim Conway and the Director Lang Elliot who offer tons of little know facts and insight to this classic! This DVD is crisp and clear and so is the sound! The only thing this DVD lacks are the deleted and alternate scenes and alternate angles they showed on TV back in 1984. (see below for details) But, I'm happy to take what they give!
I know this is going to sound odd, but this is my favorite comedy of all time! No question! I have always been a big fan of Tim Conway and Don Knotts! (Who isn't?) Both men are absolute geniuses and have been underused since this movie came out back in 1981. This movie left a huge impression on me when I was a kid! I have always wanted a house just like the one in this movie! Who wouldn't want a 252 room estate! You could almost sleep in a different room for a full year! I was equally impressed when I found out the house in this movie is a real house! It's the Biltmore House and gardens. The real house is in Asheville North Carolina. Although the Biltmore House doesn't have 252 rooms (darn!) it is an absolutely gorgeouse manor! I highly recommend you check out their website! They will even send you a free brochure which pulls out into a mini poster! I have one on my wall right now! Very cool!
Anyways, back to the review...This is one movie that can be shared with the whole family! When this movie came out I was 10 years old and was so impressed by the look of it, the hysterical comedy, the cast, and the mystery storyline!
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Format: DVD
Buy this flick. You probably saw it on cable 20 years ago, or maybe some goof at the office told you about it. Here's why it's worth owning.
Somewhere along the way Hollywood decided films like 'The Private Eyes' weren't suitable for production. Not being a student of film or pop culture, I'm not really sure why. It probably cost next-to-nothing to make, is thoroughly enjoyable, and is suited for virtually any audience -- one could watch this with grandma or their drinking buddies.
Regardless, the world has changed, so thankfully we have little gems like this to remind us of how things ought to be. So while my buddies can rave about crap like the 'Matrix Returns,' I'll settle down and watch Conway and Knotts bungle their way through 90 minutes of side-splitting joy. Call me corny, but gags like the time pistol, which goes off every hour, or the never-ending supply of homing pigeons (gone awry) are priceless.
Sure, guys like Chris Tucker are funny, but I just can't see them pulling off any bit that doesn't involve dope, profanity, and/or both. That's not a knock on today's comedy, but anyone who's a fan of the art will get a kick out of 'the Private Eyes.'
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 30 2011
Format: DVD
A giant spooky house, a motley gang of servants, a femme fatale, and... a pair of detectives who probably couldn't locate their own backsides, even WITH a map. "The Private Eyes" is an entertaining little comedy that gently glides along on the slapstick, fun running gags and the duo of Tim Conway and Don Knotts.

Lord Morley and Lady Morley have been murdered, and Scotland Yard has sent in Dr. Tart (Tim Conway) and Inspector Winship (Don Knotts) to investigate. And after they almost get throttled by the butler for saying the word "murder," they begin investigating the strange assortment of servants -- the aforementioned homicidal butler, the uptight nanny, the sexy maid, the samurai cook who claims to only use his katanas for food, the crazy-eyed gypsy with his foot in a trap, and the incoherent hunchback.

But then the servants start being murdered as well, and a poorly-rhymed poem left next to their corpses. And the bodies vanish before the duo can show the Morley heir, Phyllis (Trisha Noble), leaving Tart and Winship scrabbling to prove that a murderer is still loose in the mansion. But of course, nothing is quite as it seems...

Despite the title, "Private Eyes" is not much of a detective story -- if you're like me, you'll have figured out the murderer's identity and the whole elaborate back-scheme in pretty short order. The fun is watching Tart and Winship bumble around the giant elaborate manor house, stumbling across dead bodies and murder machines.

The center of it all is Knotts and Conway -- they are simply hysterical as the uptight, long-suffering Winship and the oblivious, often goofy Tart ("So he must have read about us in the newspaper and called us in to solve his murder!").
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Format: DVD
Don Knotts and Tim Conway's 'Pirate Eyes' movie put on a show full of good clean comedy. I used to watch this with my parents when I was little, and I watch it with them now once in a while, and even with the young neighborkids(this is one of those titles that are passed down through the generations). This is a true classic that I think will never die. It's a good movie for the young and old, and anyone in between.
The remake of the movie is much clearer than the original, and the sound has been tweaked some. For the first time I can actually see in the secret passages and the whole of the 'torcher chamber', and hear everything that Tim Conway says.
It also includes an enlightening and funny commentary by Tim Conway and Lang Elliot talking about the silly problems they had while filming, movie facts, and basically just having fun commenting on their work. And with good ol' Tim Conway you can just imagine what that's like.
They've also added a slide show with some interesting pictures, one being what the poor car actually looked like while being pulled from the pond.
This will make a great addition to anyone's home collection! Once you've seen it, you'll never forget it(probably because you'll have laughed yourself silly)!
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