In the 60s PI classic, Harper, Shelley Winters (then at her most Rubenesque) plays Fay Estabrook a washed up one time movie starlet who is now an emotionally vulnerable alcoholic. With her considerable curves packed into a skintight black and white silk dress whose low cut front shows off her ginormous boobs to maximum effect, Fay still looks pretty sexy. Anyway, knowing the once-promising actress has been having an affair with the millionaire playboy around whose kidnapping around the plot revolves, the PI of the title picks up our still ultra-attractive if ultimately rather pathetic villainess in a bar. Dumped by her sadistic husband Troy and totally unaware that Harper is only interested in what information she can provide him with, poor Fay falls hook, liine and sinker for the PI's dodgy charms. After plying her with alcohol, Harper takes his unsuspecting victim home. After dumping the poor woman's unconscious body unceremoniously on a sofa, he goes to search her bedroom for clues. Towards the end of the movie, we see Troy torturing another suspect while the frightened Fay looks on. The last we see of the lovely Fay is her ginormous boobs hyperventilating inside an ultra-tight leopard skin after Harper shoots Troy dead. Unimpressed by her pleas for mercy, he locks the wretched woman in a closet and calls the police.
When down-at-heel PI Lewis Harper is asked to investigate the disappearance of millionaire Ralph Sampson by his long-suffering wife, the first place he looks is Sampson’s astrologically-themed hotel room at Los Angeles’ Bel Air hotel. By Sampson’s bed, he finds a framed picture of Sampson’s mistress, a gorgeous one-time movie starlet called Fay Estabrook. When he asks Sampson’s pilot what happened to Fay he is told she “Got fat”.
He eventually tracks Fay down to a supper club where she has just been dumped by her sadistic husband, Troy. While poor Fay has indeed piled on the pounds, he still looks pretty hot in a skintight black and white silk dress which is straining to hold back her ginormous jugs. Completing Fay’s very fetching look is a black silk bow in her platinum bob cut hair and a chic black and white choker.
Sizing up the fact that Fay is consoling herself with a few drinks, Harper moves in and pretends to be a fan. Obviously starved off affection, the former goddess of the silver screen is quickly eating out of Harper’s hand. Eager to find out what he can about her relationship with Sampson, the PI pours drink after drink down poor Fay’s throat and feeds her flattery she easily falls for “Yeah, I am classy. Not everybody notices…” Sadly, nor does she notice the way that Harper keeps dodging her clumsy attempts at kissing him.
Sadly, Fay is also either too besotted or too sozzled to register the contemptuous looks H keeps giving her as the night goes on. Eventually, Harper persuades Fay to join him at the Bel Air where she mistakenly takes Harper’s probing for jealousy (“What is it with me that men all the time want to possess me!”) Touched that such a handsome young man should be interested in her, Fay tells him that there is nothing to worry about as Ralph is her oldest friend, albeit one with “a very kinky personality”
Seeing Sampson’s daughter, Harper makes an excuse and leaves the table. Thinking that’s she’s been dumped for a second time, poor Fay finishes another bottle while Harper is telling the girl that Fay isn’t a date, “she’s a hard night’s work.”
When he returns to the lounge, Fay is trying to persuad the band to regale everyone present with a tuneless rendition of La Cucaracha. When Harper sees that Fay has finished another bottle he moves in for the kill. Too pissed to stand, poor Fay moves in for another unsuccessful attempt at a kiss only to collapse into the banquette.
When Harper gets poor Fay, he dumps her semi-conscious body onto the sofa. Her pretty, if overmade up eyes full of confusion, Fay still thinks Harper wants to make love to her. “Don’t try anything tonight, dumpling,” she says in a small, scared voice, “some other time, any other ti….”
Soon Fay is sawing logs on the sofa and, pausing only to compare a framed portrait of her in her prime on the wall against the dumpy wreck on a sofa, goes into her bedroom to search her things.
Before he can get out of the house, Harper is found by Troy who promptly pulls a gun on him and asks him what he thinks he is doing. When he explains that he was Miss Estabrook’s escort for the evening, Troy rather ungallantly remarks “what do you want with an old bag of worms like her?”.
Scoffing at Harper’s easy lie that Fay is in fact “the sexiest thing he ever done see”, Troy calls his bluff. “Sport, if you want her, you can have her”. When Harper demurs, Troy gives his pretty wife a contemptuous look and says “she never could handle her liquor”
The next time we see Fay she is with Troy in the house of another suspect called Betty Fraley. While the plainly terrified Fay is begging Betty to tell Troy all she knows, Harper bursts in and shoots Troy dead.
When Harper hears Fay screech that “you’ve killed him in cold blood”, he says “and if you don’t shut up your yapping, I’ll kill you, too!”
Desperately scuttling up the wall, her ginormous jugs hyperventilating inside the too-tight leopardskin top and black leather pencil skirt in which she has vacuum-packed her dumpy curves, Fay pleads for her life. “I’ll give you anything, everything I own,” she pleads.
Looking poor Fay dismissively up and down, harper says “rich choice, I’ll take your shoes”.
All Fay can manage by return is a breathy ‘What?” of confusion before Harper bundles her inside and locks a closet door.
As he and Betty are fleeing the scene, Betty remarks, “Fay’ll get out”
“A fat barefoot alcoholic? Sure she will” is all Harper says as Fay continues frantically rattling the closet door in an attempt to get away before the police come to arrest her.