Cutter's Way (1981)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  10 February 1982 (France)
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Reviews: 48 user | 33 critic

Richard spots a man dumping a body, and decides to expose the man he thinks is the culprit with his friend Alex Cutter.



(novel), (screenplay)
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ann Dusenberry ...
Valerie Duran
Stephen Elliott ...
J. J. Cord
Arthur Rosenberg ...
George Swanson
Nina van Pallandt ...
Woman in the Hotel (as Nina Van Pallandt)
Mrs. Cord
Geraldine Baron ...
Susie Swanson
Katherine Pass ...
Toyota Woman
Toyota Man (as Frank McCarthy)
George Planco ...
Toyota Cop
Jay Fletcher ...
Cord Security Guard
George Dickerson ...
Jack Murdock ...
Concession Owner


John Heard came back from the war minus an eye, a leg and an arm. He drinks a lot and abuses his wife, who also drinks a lot. Jeff Bridges is a friend who witnesses a murder. From this point John is "after" the killer, along side the diseased sister, while Jeff doesn't really want to get involved in it. Written by Jonathan <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Cutter does everything his way. Fighting. Loving. Working. Tracking down a killer.


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 February 1982 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Cutter and Bone  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The eye patch worn by Alex Cutter (John Heard) was worn over the character's left eye. See more »


Valerie's disappearance is never explained neither noted by the main characters. See more »


Alex Cutter: I watched the war on TV just like everyone else, okay? Thought the same damn things. You know, what you thought when you saw a picture of a young woman with a baby lying face down in a ditch. Two gooks. You had three reactions Rich. Same as everybody else. First one was real easy. I hate the United States of America. Yeah.
Alex Cutter: You see the same damn thing the next day and you move up a notch. There is no God. But you know what you finally say, what everybody finally says. No matter what. ...
See more »


References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »


We're Old Enough to Know
Written by Jack Nitzsche & John Byrum
Sung by Jack Nitzsche
See more »

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User Reviews

Radically better than anyone could expect....
21 June 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Ostensibly this film appears to be a buddy movie from the 1980s, but it is actually something much more interesting. Employing standard Hollywood clinches with its thriller/ investigation narrative and many of of its "stock" characters and situations, the little guys - Heard and Bridges - take on Mr Fat Cat Capitalist who rules the peacetime world like an untouchable and corrupt monarch. The film, though well-executed and enjoyable, at first seems no more than a well-scripted, well-acted (Heard is particularly good as the embittered, crippled Vietnam Veteran) genre piece. However, what emerges by the end is something far more exciting and radical - an indictment of US politics and power relations, and a genuinely bleak reflection on the impossibility and rarity of real justice both at the micro and macro levels.

Vietnam and its true significance is used to great effect in the film, as is the interplay between the two buddies. Whilst Bridges won't accept that he has witnessed the ultimate, bleak truth of US power relations until the film's abrupt, punchy end, Heard knows the truth intuitively and automatically because he understands and hates the world from the the start. He has given up on notions such as forgiveness and even the need for legal process, and seeks only revenge on the rich and the powerful. He understands, correctly, that is the only way a kind of momentary justice is possible, since everything else is either controlled by the elites or made to protect them. Without wishing to spoil the film's brilliant final moments, it is here that the whodunnit story is stripped away and the guilt they have been seeking to prove, as Richard Bone realises, becomes entirely political or metaphysical, and the the crime itself becomes irrelevant.

19 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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