146 user 84 critic

Klute (1971)

3:01 | Trailer
A small-town detective searching for a missing man has only one lead: a connection with a New York prostitute.


Alan J. Pakula


Andy Lewis, David E. Lewis (as Dave Lewis)
4,524 ( 763)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jane Fonda ... Bree Daniels
Donald Sutherland ... John Klute
Charles Cioffi ... Peter Cable
Roy Scheider ... Frank Ligourin
Dorothy Tristan ... Arlyn Page
Rita Gam ... Trina Gruneman
Nathan George ... Trask
Vivian Nathan Vivian Nathan ... Psychiatrist
Morris Strassberg Morris Strassberg ... Mr. Goldfarb
Barry Snider Barry Snider ... Berger
Betty Murray Betty Murray ... Holly Gruneman
Jane White ... Janie Dale
Shirley Stoler ... Momma Reese
Robert Milli Robert Milli ... Tom Gruneman
Anthony Holland ... Actor's Agent


Six months after the disappearance of Tuscarora, PA businessman Tom Gruneman, his boss, Peter Cable, and his wife, Holly Gruneman, hire Tom's friend, private detective John Klute to find out what happened to Tom, as the police have been unable to do so, and despite John having no expertise in missing persons cases. The only lead is a typewritten obscene letter Tom purportedly wrote to Manhattan actress/model/call girl Bree Daniel, who admits to having received such letters from someone, and since having received several mysterious telephone calls as well. The suggestion/belief is that Tom was one of Bree's past johns, although she has no recollection of him when shown his photograph. Bree's tricking is both a compulsion and a financial need. In their initial encounters, John and Bree do whatever they can to exert their psychological dominance over the other, especially as Bree initially refused to even speak to him. Despite their less than friendly start, they embark on a personal ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Lots of guys swing with a call girl like Bree. One guy just wants to kill her. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Klute was only the second film score for Michael Small, who said that Pakula took a big risk here to work with an unknown composer. See more »


Several sound effects in the hotel room scene near the beginning are quite poorly dubbed in, sounding much clearer and crisper than the murky, echoey live sound from the on-set microphone, and with audible cuts and mismatched volume levels. See more »


Peter Cable: I have no idea what I'm going to do. I'm so deeply puzzled. I've done terrible things, I've killed three people. Really, I don't consider myself a terrible man, no more than-than others. See, Tom Gruneman had discovered me. We were here on business together and he found me and Jane McKenna in my hotel room. She had become hysterical and she started screaming and I guess I hit her. I don't actually recall, it all happened so quickly. Anyway, she fell and hit her head and that's when Tom came in ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some network TV versions omit six minutes' worth of footage, including a scene where Klute (Donald Sutherland) finds the clue that leads him to the murderer. See more »


We Gather Together
Written by Adrianus Valerius
Lyrics by Theodore Baker
Sung by Jane Fonda
See more »

User Reviews

The one that took Jane Fonda from sex kitten to respected actress
7 December 2014 | by jjnxn-1See all my reviews

Fine gritty dramatic mystery that gets the pulse of NYC in the early 70's just right. It becomes another character in the film which only strengths the picture and adds a certain creeping menace to it. While the movie pivots on the disappearance of a man it's really a character study of alienation with the investigation a peg to hang the main action on.

Sutherland is fine as the inquiring detective John Klute but the film lives and dies on the character of Bree Daniels and Jane Fonda owns that part.

Bree wants the world to believe she's one tough hard customer but as the film progresses it becomes more and more obvious that the bravado is a front. She displays raw, honest emotion in all her scenes but particularly in her therapy sequences. She shows so many layers to the character, including flashes of humor that Bree comes across as a real woman.

Usually I try not to let appearance factor into my appraisal of a performance however that shag hairstyle is integral to the audience's acceptance of her as a tough call girl. Having moved forward and away from her initial image of the blonde cutie with her previous film, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, she completely transforms herself in this. The soft blonde Jane Fonda of Barefoot in the Park or Barbarella of only a couple of years before would never be believable as Bree Daniels. The film was a major hit and she won her first Oscar for it. She was up against some excellent performances that year but she was the correct winner.

Expertly directed by Pakula in his usual observant style this is a classic of '70's cinema. Highly recommended.

31 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 146 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

25 June 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Klute See more »


Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed