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Peter Falk’s Greatest Speech


 

Peter Falk died yesterday, and what’s amazing about the guy is that for an actor with a fairly specific, familiar persona, he had a really varied body of high-quality work. He was one of TV’s greatest detective characters; he was Professor Fate’s button-pushing sidekick in The Great Race, he did great dramatic work with John Cassavetes in Cassavetes’ own films and Elaine May’s Mikey & Nicky. But the moment I automatically selected to represent Falk is his delivery of this speech (written by Andrew Bergman) in one of the great film comedies of the ’70s, The In-Laws. The writing is good enough on its own, but Falk’s delivery of it – as a man who has made up the most ridiculous, implausible lie possible and is delivering it with total commitment – pushes it into all-time greatness.


 
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