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The Parallax View (1974)

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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
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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:

There is no conspiracy. Just twelve people dead. 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 »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

The film was made and released about four years after its source novel of the same name by Loren Singer had been first published in 1974. See more »

Goofs

The politician played by Jim Davis is called George Hammond by the investigating committee at the end, but earlier in the film when we first see his picture in a newspaper on the flight, the caption beneath his photo says John Hammond. See more »

Quotes

Bill Rintels: When I agreed to take you back in January I made two suggestions. One was about your drinking. Well, you seem to have licked that. The other was that you curb your talent for creative irresponsibility: you can start working on that right now.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Hawaii
Written by Ralph Rainger and Leo Robin
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Existentialism with a political twist
27 March 2003 | by JuguAbrahamSee all my reviews

I saw this film first some twenty years ago and loved it. I saw it again this week and found the film superior to most other films of director Pakula and found it to be another gem from cinematographer Gordon Willis.

"Parallax View" never won Oscars or other major awards for Pakula but this film along with "Klute" and "Sophie's Choice" are his finest works. Articles on Pakula often focus on his award-winning work and neglect this fine movie.

What was great in this film that was missing in "All the president's men" or "The pelican brief"? Here the element of existentialism sucked in the viewer to participate in the whirlpool of deceit, exemplified most by the test given to the lead character in the offices of Parallax Corporation, the staccato editing (John Wheeler) that exemplifies the individual's helplessness, and the imaginative photography (Willis) that stunts the individual (not crowds) against the himalayan landscapes of glass and steel.

The film was made at a time when Hollywood was brimming with great films with a similar line of thought (Spielberg's "Duel", Coppola's "The Conversation", Penn's "Night Moves", Polanski's "Chinatown", Antonionni's "Zabriskie Point", Altman's "Nashville", Boorman's "Point Blank", etc.) internalizing the external, as Camus would have best described it. "Parallax View" among all these films touched the subject of politics using the least obscure metaphors and similies.

Can one forget the dead calm in the sea before the explosion/assasination? Or the assassination viewed from the roof top of the victim's cart colliding with empty tables and chairs towards the end of the film? None of Pakula's other films have such hardhitting scenes as these, even if one were to discount the unconvincing cool response of the lead character in the airplane when he realizes that there is a live bomb on it.

This is a film that grips you nearly 30 years after it was made, when US politics seems to be at a point very close to what the film depicted three decades ago.


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