An ambitious reporter gets in way-over-his-head trouble while investigating a senator's assassination which leads to a vast conspiracy involving a multinational corporation behind every event in the world's headlines.
Joe Frady is a determined reporter who often needs to defend his work from colleagues. After the assassination of a prominent U.S. senator, Frady begins to notice that reporters present during the assassination are dying mysteriously. After getting more involved in the case, Frady begins to realize that the assassination was part of a conspiracy somehow involving the Parallax Corporation, an enigmatic training institute. He then decides to enroll for the Parallax training himself to discover the truth. Written by
Philip Brubaker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the opening Independence Day parade sequence, there are no leaves on the tree branches visible as the senator and his wife pass by, but the leaves would be full and green on July 4th in Seattle. See more »
Look, why don't you go out and bust up a keno game. Do something worthwhile for chrissakes, you two bit vice squad, you're not only dumb, you're dirty.
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The term, parallax, has everything to do with seeing, and as such it is particularly fitting for a film that is about seeing on many levels. Gordon Willis' distinctive cinematography is a perfect match for just such an enterprise. His commanding use of light, shapes, and (most of all) darkness creates a sense of uncertainty that flavors this so-called paranoid thriller. Along with under-sung director Alan J. Pakula, Willis is working here with pretty much the same production team that would next give us _All the President's Men_, but they do as well in this earlier film with apparently a lot less. Contrast the newsroom as shown here with the detailed recreation of The Washington Post in ATPM. It seems like Hume Cronyn and Warren Beatty are the whole newspaper in _The Parallax View_. That's fine. It's supposed to be two-bit paper.
We are shown eyewitnesses who don't know what they thought they saw during an assassination attempt. We don't know what we thought we saw either. We are shown conspirators who are constantly seeing around the next corner. We are kept guessing as well. We follow Warren Beatty nervously as he tries to keep ahead of this game. Kenneth Mars even gives Beatty a second false identity just in case the first one is checked. Finally, we take a slide-show psychological exam right along with Beatty, and perhaps we wonder what our own responses to it show us to be. It's a very special film that allows us to trust the filmmakers even though we know they may be giving us unreliable information. That blind trust seems to be the soul of this truly great movie.
Finally, I'd like to cast a vote for Mr. Beatty as one of our true American acting treasures. Where would the great films of the 70s be without his hip, wise-cracking presence? Did we expect Elliott Gould to do all the work?
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