Six months after the disappearance of Tuscarora, PA businessman Tom Gruneman, his boss, Peter Cable, and his wife, Holly Gruneman, hire Tom's best friend, private detective John Klute to find out what happened to Tom, as the police have been unable to do so, and despite John having no expertise in missing persons cases. The only lead is a typewritten obscene letter Tom purportedly sent to Manhattan actress/model/call girl Bree Daniel, who admits to having received such letters from someone, and since having received several obscene telephone calls as well. The suggestion/belief is that Tom was one of Bree's past johns, although she has no recollection of him when shown his photograph. Bree tricking is more a compulsion than a financial need. In their initial encounters, John and Bree do whatever they can to exert their psychological dominance over the other, especially as Bree initially refused to even speak to him. Despite their less than friendly start, they embark on a personal ... Written by
Accented throughout by the late Michael Small's unsettling piano-&-stoned-soprano soundtrack, "Klute" is one of the defining films of the 1970's. Fonda plays an NYC call girl named Bree Daniels attempting to break free from her sordid past who is being stalked by an ex-john into S&M sex. Sutherland is her hero John Klute, a very decent guy from Pennsylvania who works as a private investigator looking for a missing man who may have been this very client. Naturally, they fall in love, but it is an often brutal experience emotionally because Bree is a cold-hearted tart who has been in the business so long she is incapable of having an orgasm. Jane is phenomenal throughout, including her sessions with a psychiatrist (which have the feel of pure improv) and auditioning for a play (I thought she was pretty good) and Sutherland lends solid support, even if his face remains pretty much poker.
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