In The Big Fix Richard Dreyfuss delivers what is for him a particularly relaxed and confident performance as Moses Wine, the 1970s answer to Philip Marlowe, Lew Archer and Sam Spade.
Simply as a detective thriller, The Bix Fix has strong appeal. As a centerpiece it has a tough, cynical, intelligent detective – an independent man with a rathole for an apartment, a personal life in need of some investigating and a full supply of wisecracks.
Briefly, the film finds Dreyfuss employed by Susan Anspach, like Dreyfuss a former campus activist, gone straight as a campaign worker for a gubernatorial candidate. Someone is trying to sabotage the election by distributing leaflets linking the middle-of-the-road candidate with radical elements. Dreyfuss is a natural for the case because he knew people in the radical movement.
The trail leads through Los Angeles – from the Beverly Hills mansions and social clubs to the Mexican barrios. Jeremy Paul Kagan’s direction is nicely paced, starting off slow with the development of Dreyfuss’ character and then speeding up as the plot complications mount.