7.2/10
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136 user 70 critic

The Parallax View (1974)

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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Walter McGinn ...
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Chuck Waters ...
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Senator Charles Carroll (as Bill Joyce)
Betty Murray ...
Mrs. Charles Carroll (as Bettie Johnson)
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Parallax Assassin
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Chrissy - Frady's Girl (as JoAnne Harris)
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Schecter - Hotel Clerk
Lee Pulford ...
Shirley - Salmontail Bar Girl
Doria Cook-Nelson ...
Gale from Salmontail (as Doria Cook)
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Storyline

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 <coda@nando.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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As American as apple pie. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

30 September 1974 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Zeuge einer Verschwörung  »

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Part of a series of movies of director Alan J. Pakula three picture "Political Paranoia Trilogy". The films are (in order) Klute (1971), The Parallax View (1974), and All the President's Men (1976). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Joseph Frady: [to Deputy Sheriff] Don't touch me unless you love me.
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Connections

Referenced in Arlington Road (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Hawaii
Written by Ralph Rainger and Leo Robin
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User Reviews

 
Existentialism with a political twist
27 March 2003 | by (Trivandrum, Kerala, India) – See all my reviews

I saw this film first some twenty years ago and loved it. I saw it again this week and found the film superior to most other films of director Pakula and found it to be another gem from cinematographer Gordon Willis.

"Parallax View" never won Oscars or other major awards for Pakula but this film along with "Klute" and "Sophie's Choice" are his finest works. Articles on Pakula often focus on his award-winning work and neglect this fine movie.

What was great in this film that was missing in "All the president's men" or "The pelican brief"? Here the element of existentialism sucked in the viewer to participate in the whirlpool of deceit, exemplified most by the test given to the lead character in the offices of Parallax Corporation, the staccato editing (John Wheeler) that exemplifies the individual's helplessness, and the imaginative photography (Willis) that stunts the individual (not crowds) against the himalayan landscapes of glass and steel.

The film was made at a time when Hollywood was brimming with great films with a similar line of thought (Spielberg's "Duel", Coppola's "The Conversation", Penn's "Night Moves", Polanski's "Chinatown", Antonionni's "Zabriskie Point", Altman's "Nashville", Boorman's "Point Blank", etc.) internalizing the external, as Camus would have best described it. "Parallax View" among all these films touched the subject of politics using the least obscure metaphors and similies.

Can one forget the dead calm in the sea before the explosion/assasination? Or the assassination viewed from the roof top of the victim's cart colliding with empty tables and chairs towards the end of the film? None of Pakula's other films have such hardhitting scenes as these, even if one were to discount the unconvincing cool response of the lead character in the airplane when he realizes that there is a live bomb on it.

This is a film that grips you nearly 30 years after it was made, when US politics seems to be at a point very close to what the film depicted three decades ago.


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