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Magnum is set to receive an award at a convention collecting private detectives when one of them, Jean Fornier, drops dead of poison. Magnum hunts for Fornier's murderer, with help from some of the other detectives, and eventually uncovers the gang of drug smugglers Fornier was hunting.
Elisha Cook's character "Wilmer" is undoubtedly a nod to one of his more famous roles, Wilmer Cook in 1941's The Maltese Falcon. Cook turned in a sinister performance as Kaspar Gutman's henchman in this film.
Annie Potts's character Tracy Spencer is a nod to Spencer Tracy, arguably one of the finest actors ever to practice the craft. Tracy lived from 1900 to 1967; between 1930 and his death he acted in nearly 80 films.
Joe Ashour plays a detective clearly meant to be Theo Kojak, the bald, lollipop-sucking NYPD Lieutenant from Kojak (1973)
Ken Spina's character is an homage (or a send-up, if you like) to Peter Falk's character Lieutenant Frank Columbo, star of Columbo
, whose rumpled trenchcoat and self-deprecating mannerisms concealed a genius for puzzling out the identities of murderers.