An ambitious reporter gets in way-over-his-head trouble while investigating a senator's assassination which leads to a vast conspiracy involving a multinational corporation behind every event in the world's headlines.
Alan J. Pakula
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 .
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
Pakula wanted composer Michael Small not to play low notes in his score, because the audience already knows that it's scary. 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 »
Men would pay $200 for me, and here you are turning down a freebie. You could get a perfectly good dishwasher for that.
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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 »
The question Klute ultimately asks is can a high priced call girl from Manhattan find happiness with a small town private detective from Tuscarora, Pennsylvania? Of course it asks more than that and probes the human psyche quite a bit.
Though the title role of John Klute the detective is played by Donald Sutherland, the central character is Jane Fonda the call girl. Which begs the question why the film wasn't called Bree. It was her performance as Bree Daniels that got Jane her first Academy Award for Best Actress. That and sympathy from Hollywood for being an avowed member in good standing on Richard Nixon's enemies list.
Despite Nixon and his trashing of the Constitution, I never liked the idea of Jane Fonda broadcasting from Hanoi while our soldiers were fighting in Vietnam. That was taking anti-war protest way too far. But forgetting the politics she gives quite a performance as the psychologically deep and troubled call girl who has a stalker on her hands.
Sutherland as Klute is hired to trace the disappearance of business executive Robert Milli from the main corporate employer in Tuscarora, Pennsylvania. Apparently Milli was leading a double life, on business trips he'd hire call girls and had a tendency to get rough while frolicking. There's a note found threatening one of them and of course it's Jane Fonda.
Fonda is an aspiring actress and model who does this to pay the bills. It's given her quite a cynical attitude on life. It takes a while, but Sutherland kind of grows on her and when he solves the disappearance, he proves to be her benefactor.
Other performance to note are Roy Scheider as her pimp, Rita Gam as the brothel madam and Charles Cioffi the CEO of the company who hires Sutherland to find the missing Milli. Still it's Fonda who dominates the proceedings.
I'm still hoping that Peter Fonda gets a role that will land him an Oscar so we have a father-daughter-son parlay of Oscar winners in one family. Klute as a film has stood the test of time and hasn't aged a bit. It could easily be done today with those awful Seventies fashions replaced by today's.
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