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, the embark on a personal ... Written by
What an awesome film. A good movie to contrast this with, is the film "Devil's Own". Both were directed by the late, great Alan J. Pakula, but were products of vastly different quality. You couldn't pick up a paper, and not read about how much Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt hated each other, and the end product suffered because of it. You had the core of a good movie torn apart, because the Pitt part, and the Ford part didn't co-exist.
No Such problem with "Klute". Here, all the pieces fit together. Scheider's suave, non-chalant pimp, Sutherland's lonely, enigmatic pseudo-gumshoe, and Fonda's basket case call girl all fit wonderfully. In fact, there are no slackers in this cast. Michael Small's creepy score also deserves mention, as does Pakula's masterful use of gritty, realistic New York City.
It's almost depressing to watch the raw talent at work in films like "Klute". Nowadays, films are so much the result of magazine polling, and the ever-present bottom line. It's true, we still have independent films, but even they are getting co-opted by big money. Still, I suppose there still are the John Sayles' of the world holding out. God bless 'em.
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