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Watch Bill Cosby in Hickey and Boggs on MGM HD channel

Not everyone gets it, but if you’re one of those who gets the MGM HD cable movie channel, then do yourself a favor and check out the 1972 detective film Hickey and Boggs, starring Bill Cosby and Robert Culp, when it plays on the channel in March and April.

It’s a very film noir-influenced, downbeat mystery thriller about two down-on-their-luck,  just barely scraping by private eyes who are hired to find, of course, a missing woman, and soon get tangled up in web of lies, deceit, stolen money and black revolutionaries. And along the way Hickey (Cosby) comes face to face with a tragedy that hits home which, naturally, I won’t reveal here.

The film, which was made for under a million dollars and has never been released on DVD, was the first produced screenplay by Walter Hill (who later went on to direct films such as 48Hrs, The Driver and the underrated western The Long Riders) and directed by Culp, who passed away last year.

Unfortunately it was barely released or even noticed when it came out in 1972. Since then however, it’s grown in stature and now hailed as something of a lost gem of a film that deserves to be rediscovered.

Of course Culp, and especially Cosby, became famous, when they appeared on the mega hit NBC show I Spy back in the 60′s. But, in this film, Culp flips their characters from the show and their relationship on its head. Instead of two fun loving spies bouncing sparkling repartee at each other, Hickey and Boggs is a grim, sour, and violent film about two beaten, washed up private dicks who don’t like what they do, but don’t know what else to do. And the shoot out in a sport stadium sequence is an action set piece standout in the film.

It’s a genuinely good film with the late Rosalind Cash (The Omega Man, Melinda) as Hickey’s estranged wife, and Cosby does some absolutely fantastic work in it.

The film will play 8 times in March and April on MGM HD Channel, starting on March 9th, and if you have the time, you ought to take a look at it. It’s well worth it.

3 comments to Watch Bill Cosby in Hickey and Boggs on MGM HD channel

  • Art McGee

    Oh good, this will be on DVD soon, most likely via The Warner Archive Collection. How do I know? Because many obscure and long-forgotten titles had nice runs via cable, just before being released on DVD. “Intruder In The Dust” is a recent example that comes to mind.

    This is how they get people excited and prepped for the release.

    • Sergio

      You’re right except that it would be come on DVD through the Fox/MGM on demand DVD label, since Hickey and Boggs was made by United artists not Warner Bros

  • tolly devlin

    Caught up with this & taped it on Showtime back in the 80′s. A very good neo-noir that was unfortunately made before it neo-noir fashionable. I also imagine many folks were expecting it to be I Spy revisited. I seem to remember James Woods & several other soon to be names in small roles.