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Tightrope (1984) Poster

(1984)

Trivia

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Actor Clint Eastwood's housemate since 1975, Sondra Locke, who had co-starred with him in six previous films, was not cast in the lead female role in this movie or any of the five others Eastwood made during the remainder of their relationship. Sudden Impact (1983) was the last Eastwood film that Locke appeared in and reportedly, the Warner Brothers studio executives told Eastwood that the public had tired of seeing movies of him teamed with Locke and not to make any more pictures with her.
In 1989, Alison Eastwood was stalked by Mike Joynson from New Zealand who allegedly had become obsessed with her after seeing her in this movie.
Susan Sarandon turned down the role of Beryl Thibodeaux, explaining to the Los Angeles Times in 1992: "The link between violence and sex was very strong. I met with Clint Eastwood and I said, 'Aren't you worried, especially you, who everybody thinks is like Man Personified, [that] when your character starts to do some of this stuff, that it's going to have a link between sex and violence and treating women badly?' And he said, 'I don't think that it's my job to worry about that, I'm an actor.' "
This is the first Clint Eastwood film with a score composed by Lennie Niehaus. Although Niehaus had orchestrated Jerry Fielding's Escape from Alcatraz (1979) a few years earlier, this was the first of 14 movies Niehaus has so far scored for Eastwood.
The movie was inspired by newspaper articles about a Bay Area rapist in San Francisco.
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The movie was originally set in San Francisco but because that city was associated with the "Dirty Harry" movies, the picture's setting had to be relocated to another American city. New Orleans was chosen for this.
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Credited film debut of Alison Eastwood. She had previously appeared uncredited as a child at an orphanage in Bronco Billy (1980).
Director Richard Tuggle had a habit of not wearing any underwear in muggy New Orleans. One day, standing up on a camera truck, Clint Eastwood noticed that Tuggle's private parts were hanging out of his shorts. In front of everybody he ordered Tuggle to go back to his trailer and put on some underwear, pronto.
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There was talk, rumors and rumblings that Clint Eastwood might get his first ever Academy Award nomination for this film. Then, there was some shock and surprise when Eastwood wasn't Oscar nominated.
The movie features a significant amount of red tint photography. Even the movie's film poster featured a strong red color component. The color red motif connects with the film's adult sexual themes and references the film 's "Red Light" district's prostitutes and seedy sex. Similary, movie poster artwork for the later Clint Eastwood movie Blood Work (2002) also featured red tint over black print, but this time, the red color symbolized the color of blood.
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In the documentary Biography: Clint Eastwood: The Man from Malpaso (1994), actress Geneviève Bujold states how she felt that there shouldn't be a love scene between her character and Clint Eastwood in the film. Eastwood was receptive of this and no love scene between the two was incorporated into the picture.
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Second of two consecutive cop films for Clint Eastwood where the main killer shares same or similar personality traits with the detective Eastwood is portraying. The other movie was Sudden Impact (1983).
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Reportedly, Clint Eastwood did the majority of the directing after apparently Richard Tuggle was too slow behind the camera. Contractually, Tuggle still retained the director's credit.
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Clint Eastwood was concurrently having affairs with several actresses who appeared in the film, including Jamie Rose.
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Clint Eastwood's twelfth film for Warner Brothers.
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One of only three cop films made during the "Dirty Harry" era of the 1970s and 1980s which Clint Eastwood played a police detective character who was not Inspector Harry Callahan. The films include Tightrope (1984), The Gauntlet (1977) and City Heat (1984).
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Second of five movies that Alison Eastwood and Clint Eastwood have collaborated on. The films include Bronco Billy (1980), Absolute Power (1997), Tightrope (1984), Space Cowboys (2000) and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997), the latter two she performed as a singer. Of the five, Tightrope (1984) was the only one where Clint Eastwood was not the credited director. Alison Eastwood acted in all of them except for Space Cowboys (2000).
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One of just only about a dozen films that Clint Eastwood has not directed (at least not credited as such) himself since he became a director.
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Director Richard Tuggle wanted Jane Fonda to play Beryl Thibodeaux.
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As well as this film, Richard Tuggle previously wrote another Clint Eastwood movie, Escape from Alcatraz (1979).
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The narrow streets of New Orleans produced problems for the production particularly in the city's French Quarter where the thin streets made it difficult for production trucks to mobilize.
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French sounding Canadian actress Geneviève Bujold was cast in the main female role of Beryl Thibodeaux as the casting gave a "French Connection" to the film as much of it is set in the "French Quarter" of New Orleans.
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Clint Eastwood has long been a jazz enthusiast. The movie features a riverboat sequence with traditional jazz playing. Four years after this movie, Eastwood made the jazz biopic Bird (1988) about Charlie "Bird" Parker.
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The movie was controversial for its S&M story elements.
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Producer Fritz Manes said that the production wanted to the movie to reflect New Orleans on two levels. Manes said: "First of all we wanted to capture then historic charm and tradition of the city. In addition, we wanted the jazzy, sultry quality".
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The movie's Tightrope (1984) title is mentioned in the film when a crime expert says: "There's a darkness inside all of us. Some act it out. Some try to control it. Most of us walk a tightrope between the two".
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Debut theatrical feature film directed by Richard Tuggle. The picture was the first of only two feature films directed by Tuggle, the second and final movie being Out of Bounds (1986).
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Writer-director Richard Tuggle's story for "Tightrope" was developed out of his interest in the potential influences that may exist on law enforcement during police work.
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According to trade paper 'Variety', the "...picture trades extensively on the theme of guilt transference from killer to presumed hero which for so long was the special domain of 'Alfred Hitchcock'".
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The film "...takes its title from the thin line Wes [Block (Clint Eastwood)] walks in trying to keep his impulses in check" according to a 'New York Times' review.
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Final film of G. Wood.
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The opening aerial shot of New Orleans featured the unfinished site which hosted the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition - the monorail system (at the time of filming which was under construction) is seen in the shot.
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Cameo 

Fritz Manes: Clint Eastwood's regular producing partner as Valdes. The appearance was one of seven that Manes has made in Eastwood's movies.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The killer is identified by the shoes. This is the same with the killer in Blood Work (2002) another film by Clint Eastwood.
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The film featured a serial killer who was a former New Orleans police officer who was charged for sexual assault - it was until the mid-1990s where the department was under the oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice concerning police corruption and misconduct.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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