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The Parallax View (1974)

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2:30 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Alan J. Pakula
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Warren Beatty ... Joseph Frady
Paula Prentiss ... Lee Carter
William Daniels ... Austin Tucker
Walter McGinn Walter McGinn ... Jack Younger
Hume Cronyn ... Bill Rintels
Kelly Thordsen ... Sheriff L.D. Wicker
Chuck Waters Chuck Waters ... Thomas Richard Linder
Earl Hindman ... Deputy Red
William Joyce ... Senator Charles Carroll (as Bill Joyce)
Betty Murray Betty Murray ... Mrs. Charles Carroll (as Bettie Johnson)
Bill McKinney ... Parallax Assassin
Jo Ann Harris ... Chrissy - Frady's Girl (as JoAnne Harris)
Ted Gehring ... Schecter - Hotel Clerk
Lee Pulford Lee Pulford ... Shirley - Salmontail Bar Girl
Doria Cook-Nelson Doria Cook-Nelson ... Gale from Salmontail (as Doria Cook)
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Storyline

Joe Frady is a determined reporter who often needs to defend his work from colleagues. After the assassination of a prominent U.S. senator, Frady begins to notice that reporters present during the assassination are dying mysteriously. After getting more involved in the case, Frady begins to realize that the assassination was part of a conspiracy somehow involving the Parallax Corporation, an enigmatic training institute. He then decides to enroll for the Parallax training himself to discover the truth. Written by Philip Brubaker <coda@nando.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

As American as apple pie. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 September 1974 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Zeuge einer Verschwörung See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,942
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the suggestion of actor Warren Beatty and screenwriter David Giler, the profession of Beatty's character of Joseph Frady was changed from a police officer to a newspaper journalist. See more »

Goofs

The sheriff's police cruiser switches from a 1973 Plymouth Satellite Custom to a 1973 Dodge Coronet where Frady takes a shortcut through a construction site. And when he crashes the cop car in a local Safeway, the cop cruiser is a 1973 Plymouth. See more »

Quotes

Jack Younger: Who are you? I simply have to know.
Joseph Frady: All right. I'm Richard Partun.
Jack Younger: Why did you want us to think you were Richard Paley?
Joseph Frady: I needed a job. I got into a little difficulty in El Monte a couple of months ago.
Jack Younger: What kind of trouble?
Joseph Frady: Is it important?
Jack Younger: It's important.
Joseph Frady: Well, I was drinking in this bar and, uh... I used to drink a lot. Next thing I know, I'm running around a laundromat, only I don't have any clothes on. And some old lady claimed I was trying to... you know, molest her.
Jack Younger: Were you?
Joseph Frady: I don't ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

Moon River
Written by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
nope
11 August 2016 | by treywillwestSee all my reviews

It has become commonplace to identify '70s Hollywood films as their own genre. I'll go one farther and identify this era as a collective, structural autuer.

If that hypothesis holds any water, this is one of its impressive works. Made shortly after Watergate, and less than a decade after the JFK assassination, this envisions conspiracies and assassinations not as a disruption of, but a cornerstone of the American establishment.

This is, in a sense, not a POLITICAL conspiracy thriller. The US government, or that of any other country, is presented as merely a dope of a greater power- that of the big corporations of whatever stripe. This is a dystopian capitalist democracy- one in which representatives are elected to "officially" be as clueless as the general populace about the real social reality around them.

Perhaps the most subversive thing about this very subversive film is that the assassinations don't seem catastrophic, or even troubling. When one takes place, the victim politician is basically a walking sound bite. His sacrifice seems only the continuation of a ritual of banal brutality.

In one scene, a film is shown that is supposed to condition the viewer to murderous obedience. It is a montage of images of Americana, including those of violence and oppression. In most '70s conspiracy thrillers, the evil that lurked beneath the surface had a predatory relation to the commonly understood reality. People were putting their trust in a machine that was not what it seemed. Here, the evil is the surface. America IS the conspiracy.

DP Gordon Willis has never impressed me more. In his work with Woody Allen and Francis Coppola his show-offy use of shadow and in-the-frame lighting sources seemed at times to distract from the tone or theme of the film, as if Willis was only interested in defining his "look" regardless of its relation to the film's content. Here, it fits the tone of the film perfectly. The final scenes, largely devoid of dialog, in a hall filled with terrifyingly "patriotic" imagery, is gorgeous. Many of the shots reminded me of de Cherico paintings.


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