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The Parallax View (1974)

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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.


2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


As American as apple pie. See more »


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R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 September 1974 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Zeuge einer Verschwörung  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The nick-name of Joseph Frady (Warren Beatty) was "Joe". See more »


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 »


Jack Younger: Your tests suggest that you have remarkable talents.
Joseph Frady: Yeah? What do you mean by "talents"?
Jack Younger: You have difficulty holding on to a job, don't you?
Joseph Frady: I don't know, I just don't like to take a lot of shit, so people say I got antisocial tendencies.
Jack Younger: Right! Now, tell me, has it ever crossed your mind that maybe it's everybody else's problem that they don't get along with you?
Joseph Frady: Why?
Jack Younger: Because, you see, the very quality that gets you in trouble is what makes you potentially invaluable.
Joseph Frady: What's that?
Jack Younger: Your ...
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Referenced in Arlington Road (1999) See more »


Wild and Woolly West
Written by Paul Francis Webster and Sammy Fain
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User Reviews

Political conspiracy thriller par excellence.
4 December 1998 | by (Geelong, Australia) – See all my reviews

The late Alan J. Pakula's 1974 film about political murders is a superbly crafted thriller that holds the audience in its quiet, unsettling grip.

Warren Beatty gives his character of Joe Frady, a "third-rate" journalist, just the right balance of recklessness and determination to enable one to have faith in this man to uncover such shady, potentially threatening goings-on.

Beatty is ably backed up by the supporting cast, most notably Hume Cronyn as Frady's editor, and Paula Prentiss and William Daniels as, respectively, a television reporter and columnist both in fear for their lives.

Composer Michael Small's main theme (used at strategic points throughout the film and often playing on the traditional patriotic sound of the trumpet) has a quality both mournful and despairing that relates effectively to what we are watching. It is a rather sparse music score, but this seems to add to its power. Gordon Willis's Panavision photography conveys threat in even the most everyday of locations (his rendering of modern architecture is especially strong in suggesting a faceless, omnipotent threat), while the editing rhythms and sound design contribute a great deal in throwing the audience off-balance.

Pakula has been involved in more widely-known projects such as All The President's Men and Presumed Innocent, but The Parallax View is definitely one of his best and most powerful films.

40 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Parallax boat explosion zzzgreg
2nd Parallex Test duderunner
Didn't like this. Am I missing something? slippy3
Was he himself brainwashed in to attempting the assasinaton? Mc_chives
Movies as good as this have all but disappeared. hondadriver1973
When did Parallax discover Frady? TaShiGaFonz
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