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P.J. (1968)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Mystery | 7 October 1968 (UK)
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.


John Guillermin


Philip H. Reisman Jr. (screenplay) (as Philip Reisman Jr.), Philip H. Reisman Jr. (story) (as Philip Reisman Jr.) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
George Peppard ... P.J. Detweiler
Raymond Burr ... William Orbison
Gayle Hunnicutt ... Maureen Preble
Brock Peters ... Waterpark
Wilfrid Hyde-White ... Billings-Browne
Jason Evers ... Jason Grenoble
Coleen Gray ... Betty Orbison
Susan Saint James ... Linette Orbison
Severn Darden ... Shelton Quell
Jane Van Duser Jane Van Duser ... Elinor Silene (as H. Jane Van Duser)
George Furth ... Sonny Silene
Barbara Dana Barbara Dana ... Lita
Herb Edelman ... Charlie (as Herbert Edelman)
John Qualen ... Poppa Gonowski
Bert Freed ... Police Lieutenant


Private eye P.J. is reluctant when he gets a new job: he shall protect Maureen Preble, mistress of millionaire Orbeson, mainly from attacks by his wife and her greedy family. In truth Orbeson plans a deadly intrigue in which P.J. is to play a central part. Meanwhile P.J. falls in love with Maureen and Orbeson's money. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


P.J. is a hundred minutes of murders, brawls, broads and sizzling acting. See more »


Action | Drama | Mystery


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

7 October 1968 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Criss Cross See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Susan Saint James' movie debut. See more »


In the film's original opening credit sequence, when Thorson (Ken Lynch) and his two henchmen approach a hotel room from the outside, the doorknob is on the left side. In a close-up shot when the door is being smashed down, the doorknob on the right side. See more »


Referenced in Otley (1969) See more »


Welcome to St. Crispin
Music by Percy Faith
Lyrics by Philip H. Reisman Jr. (as Philip Reisman Jr.)
Sung by King Charles MacNiles
See more »

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User Reviews

Not bad, but not good either.
7 August 2012 | by GMJamesSee all my reviews

My memories of the gritty but not totally successful private eye drama "P.J." are rather hazy and incomplete. As several other writers have mentioned, the movie was heavily edited for television after the movie's original release. Even as an impressionable kid, I wondered why P.J. (George Peppard) was badly beaten up without knowing who did it and what happened to the guy on the subway platform that threatened P.J.'s life? The two sequences, as well as several others edited scenes, made "P.J." on TV a rather bland and disjointed mess.

On a hunch, I was able to finally see an unedited, pan-and-scan version of "P.J." a few days ago. Regrettably, the movie was not as good as I remembered. This is despite good performances by Peppard and Raymond Burr, who probably relished the offer of playing a bad guy after many years as Perry Mason, as well as Gayle Hunnicutt as the femme fatale.

The musical score by Neil Hefti and the New York locations certainly set the mood. (Some of Hefti's interludes sounded a lot like his score from the movie "The Odd Couple". "P.J." was released a few months before "The Odd Couple".)

I don't consider "P.J." a classic because of some misguided creative decisions by the writers and director and production choices in which scenes that were obviously filmed on the Universal back lot took me out of the story on occasion.

However, I believe that movie studios are doing themselves a disservice to the public by not releasing this and other movies to the web or on DVD. There are horrible movies in the past few years that are on the web or released on DVD but a 1968 film that was not necessarily a classic and did not win any awards is shown illegally on a popular web page. To Universal, release the film on a widescreen format and let the public decide if the movie is worthy.

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