CANNON MONTH 2: Who Killed Mary What’s ‘Er Name? (1971)

Ah man, another impossible to find early Cannon movie.

Also known as Death of a Hooker, this is the tale of diabetic ex-boxer Mickey Isador (Red Buttons, not playing a comedy here) who feels that the NYPD didn’t do enough to investigate the murder of his sex worker neighbor Mary. To solve the case, he teams up with her friend Christine (Sylvia Miles, Madame Zena from The Funhouse), his daughter Della (Alice Playten, under all that makeup, she played Blix from Legend), the drunken Val (Conrad Bain) and would-be director Alex (Sam Waterston).

This movie feels like it lives in the same sleazy neighborhood as any other grindhouse New York movie while never dwelling in that gutter, such as when Mickey turns down a freebie when he saves Christine from being assaulted.

Director Ernest Pintoff also made Lunch Wagon and Jaguar Lives! As for the cast, it’s filled with notable minor pop culture stars, like Earl Hindman (Wilson on Home Improvement), Ron Carey (Carl Levitt on Barney Miller), Gilbert Lewis (The King of Cartoons) and David Doyle (Bosley on Charlie’s Angels).

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