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Night Moves (1975)

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Los Angeles private investigator Harry Moseby is hired by a client to find her runaway teenage daughter. Moseby tracks the daughter down, only to stumble upon something much more intriguing and sinister.

Director:

Arthur Penn

Writer:

Alan Sharp
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Hackman ... Harry Moseby
Jennifer Warren ... Paula
Edward Binns ... Ziegler
Harris Yulin ... Marty Heller
Kenneth Mars ... Nick
Janet Ward Janet Ward ... Arlene Iverson
James Woods ... Quentin
Anthony Costello ... Marv Ellman
John Crawford ... Tom Iverson
Melanie Griffith ... Delly Grastner
Ben Archibek Ben Archibek ... Charles
Dennis Dugan ... Boy
C.J. Hincks ... Girl
Max Gail ... Stud (as Maxwell Gail Jr.)
Susan Barrister Susan Barrister ... Ticket Clerk
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Storyline

Private detective and former football player Harry Moseby gets hired on to what seems a standard missing person case, as a former Hollywood actress whose only major roles came thanks to being married to a studio mogul wants Moseby to find and return her daughter. Harry travels to Florida to find her, but he begins to see a connection between the runaway girl, the world of Hollywood stuntmen, and a suspicious mechanic when an unsolved murder comes to light. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What private eye Harry Moseby doesn't know about the girl he's looking for... just might get him killed. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | French

Release Date:

30 August 1975 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dark Tower See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of Tom's fishing boat was the "Point of View" and its dock station was the port of "Gulf Shores, Florida". See more »

Goofs

When the crashed plane is found by Melanie Griffith's character, the dead pilot's face is being picked at by fish. The plane is supposed to have crashed in the ocean off the coast of Florida, but the fish are carp, which are strictly freshwater fish. See more »

Quotes

Paula: Oh, that's a beauty.
Harry Moseby: Yeah, but he didn't see it. He played something else and he lost. He must have regretted it every day of his life. I know I would have. As a matter of fact I do regret it, and I wasn't even born yet.
Paula: That's no excuse.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Cinema: Film Noir (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Imbroglio thriller still resonates.
17 November 2002 | by MozjoukineSee all my reviews

Coming back to NIGHT MOVES a quarter of a century later is a confronting experience. I was admirer of Alan Sharp's (HIRED HAND and LAST RUN) and now it's easier to see how he'd distorted the American crime movie with the influence of the European art cinema. Much the same thing is happening in Sam Mendes' current films.

The process is knowing and resonant and the film shows Arthur Penn at the top of his game, though it didn't find the same public his most famous work. This dark intrigue stuff works, partly because it's too dense to be immediately absorbed and because the characters are so vivid - even if it is hard to believe that all these great women want to take off their shirts for Gene Hackman in his tan rug. It is however one of Hackman's best outings - whether he liked it or not.

Lots of great detail - the contrast between Hackman's study with the black and white TV where sports will kill his eyes and Yullin's tasteful home, which makes us share Hackman's loathing of the character, feeding dolphins, the glass bottom boat or the theatre viewing (which respects the different format of the two cameras for once.) The performances are consistently vivid, reflecting well on Penn, with soon to be stars Griffith (particularly memorable) and Woods running level with largely forgotten character people. Janet Ward, for one, really registers.

Even if it needs theatrical viewing to be appreciated, Bruce Surtees' dim lighting, characteristically shading eyes, is atmospheric but the post "New Wave" fad of dispensing with establishing shots and opticals is now confusing and jerky. The score irritates too.

The line about paint drying has now passed into common usage but I like "blind, Albino, s**t-eating alligators" as much.

I used to use this one to teach screen writing decades back. I rate that a good call.


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