Lew Harper

Harper (film)

Harper is a 1966 film written by William Goldman from a novel by Ross Macdonald. The movie starred Paul Newman as the eponymous Lew Harper (Lew Archer in the novel). The original music score was composed by Johnny Mandel. Goldman received a 1967 Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay. Shelley Winters plays a once gorgeous and now alcoholic former starlet, Fay Estabrook.

The film was released in the UK as The Moving Target, the title of the novel. Newman reprised the role again in a sequel, The Drowning Pool, made in 1975.

Main cast

Actor Role
Paul Newman Lew Harper
Lauren Bacall Elaine Sampson
Julie Harris Betty Frales
Arthur Hill Albert Graves
Janet Leigh Susan Harper
Pamela Tiffin Miranda Sampson
Robert Wagner Allan Taggart
Robert Webber Dwight Troy
Shelley Winters Fay Estabrook
Harold Gould Sheriff Spanner
Roy Jenson Puddler
Andre Trottier Peddler
Strother Martin Claude


  • It is believed that the main character's name was changed to Harper because of Newman's success in films involving the letter 'H' (Hud, The Hustler, Hombre).
  • Turned down by Frank Sinatra.


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