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Judging from “The American Side,” detectives who say things like “that’s a gene pool screaming for chlorine” and “there’s a joker in every deck” have spent the past several decades hiding in Buffalo — not an obvious graveyard for the spirits of Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane.

There, Charlie Paczynski (Greg Stuhr), a private investigator, has a side racket in blackmail with Kat (Kelsey Siepser), a stripper. When Kat is murdered, Charlie uncovers a mystery that involves enigmatic women (Camilla Belle, Alicja Bachleda), estranged energy magnates (Matthew Broderick, Robert Forster), the unrealized inventions of Nikola Tesla and — seemingly — whatever other character actors (Robert Vaughn, Harris Yulin, Janeane Garofalo) dropped by the set.

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