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


Alex Cutter (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. Richard Bone (Jeff Bridges) is a friend who witnesses a murder. From this point John is "after" the killer, alongside the diseased sister, while Jeff doesn't really want to get involved in it. Written by Jonathan <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Bone saw the killer. Cutter knew the motive. See more »


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?


When United Artists executives David C. Field and Claire Townsend, the film's biggest supporters, left for 20th Century Fox, the film became a victim of internal politics. United Artists senior domestic sales and marketing vice president Jerry Esbin saw the film and decided that it did not have any commercial possibilities. Passer did not see his film with a paying audience until the Houston Film Festival many weeks later, where the film won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actor (John Heard). See more »


When Alex Cutter is charging across the estate on a horse, his missing arm changes sides briefly. See more »


Richard Bone: You know, you've got one big problem.
Alex Cutter: What's that?
Richard Bone: Your imagination.
Alex Cutter: These are just the facts, Rich. I mean, I haven't even begun to let my imagination loose on this one.
See more »


Referenced in Die schlechtesten Filme aller Zeiten: Sharknado (2014) See more »


We're Old Enough to Know
Music by Jack Nitzsche
Lyrics by John Byrum
Vocals by Jack Nitzsche
See more »

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User Reviews

not really "underrated" but more like ignored. This movie is very good.
7 January 2003 | by (slurbs of NJ) – See all my reviews

A friend of mine gave me the novel Cutter and Bone (AKA Cutter's Way) was based on, so that immediately creates a problem, comparing two different art forms.

Forget the novel (by the obscure Newton Thornburg) for this purpose only. The movie is a moving meditation on power, desperation, and paranoia. It is also a great love story.

I always end up writing "'ve read the other comments so you know what this is about" but Cutter and Bone is so many things, it cannot be pinned down easily.

As noted in the favorable reviews here, this is chock full of great film acting that moves the story along as well as making come alive. Who was the clueless shmoe who said "nothing happens"? What movie was he watching?

Adrift in post-Vietnam America, Cutter finally finds something in life that has meaning; the murder of a young hitchhiker.

But any meaning is too much for the damaged Cutter who becomes relentless in the pursuit of a possible killer who also is of the wealthy, powerful elite that sent OPS (other people's sons) to Vietnam. Cutter finally has a genuine target ("he's not anyone Rich, he's RESPONSIBLE" says Cutter to Richard Bone in a great line delivery by John Heard) for his unfocused righteous anger.

Bone tries to sabotage the investigation but ends up buying in at the very end. Why? He has the rage also, as did many Americans who weren't politically active, did not serve in Vietnam. It's a rage that infected a nation with guilt, self-doubt, and eventually, a new hubris, a kind of "never again" attitude toward "less developed" nations that has us yet again on the brink of yet another war in a series of wars that seem to never end and we hardly even notice anymore (remember Grenada? Bombing Tripoli and Benghazi? proxy armies in Nicaragua and El Salvador, etc.?)

The other part of Cutter and Bone is a love triangle and a very well explicated one at that. Cutter and Bone both love Mo who can't love herself. Bone is not as shallow as he appears and it scares him. Cutter is too damaged and angry to love her enough until she is gone.

I've known these people in one way or another, and that is why this movie has always meant so much to me. It is also about a great country I used to live in that began to disappear about the time this movie is set, and has since metamorphosed into a large wounded, angry monster, bereft of the tears for near-paradise lost that this excellent movie depicts.

24 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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