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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:

Maybe he would find the girl... maybe he would find himself. 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

In memory of David Doernberg. See more »

Goofs

Harry rents a car when he is in Florida. When the car is filmed either from the front or the back, the car has a rear view mirror. When the car is filmed from the side, the rear view mirror is missing. See more »

Quotes

Marv Ellman: There's nothing like having a mother and a daughter. Gives you sort of a kind of perspective.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fascinating Film-Noire Despite Its Age
27 June 2005 | by jcanettisSee all my reviews

Although filmed more than 30 years ago, "Night Moves" is still a fascinating film-noire. The plot starts in a rather straightforward way: We have a former footballer, Harry Moseby (Hackman), who now makes his living as a private detective, and gets hired on to what seems a standard missing person case. His employer is Arlene Iverson (Ward), a rather unknown aging actress, who wants him to find his missing stepdaughter (Griffith). As Moseby starts his investigation however, he realizes that nothing is as straightforward as it seemed; if you add the complication that his marriage has got into serious trouble, then you can realize that he is probably in a situation which he can barely handle...

Although the plot is quite fascinating in itself, providing us with several twists until the very end, the secret of the film's attractiveness lies in psychology: Director Arthur Penn does a magnificent job in showing us how a beaming, full of dynamism and self-confidence Moseby, is getting entangled in a situation which progressively drives him to successive bottoms. He cannot see clues which are in front of his eyes, and in the end the truth is revealed to him only by mere luck; even when he finds out about his wife's cheating in the early part of the film, it is simply because he just happened to be there. Moseby is not the talented detective of the Hercule Poirot's class: He is simply an average, well-intentioned guy who just happens to be a detective, and who has got into something that is well-above his skills.

Hackman is superb in his role, as one would of course expect from this very talented actor: He is ideally suited to portray the complex character of Harry Moseby. The film offers other good performances as well, including the young James Woods and Melanie Griffith who are in the beginning of their careers.

"Night Moves" is also full of subtle symbolism, with Penn providing us with plenty of arty material. Sometimes, this gets a bit too far, making the film a bit slow. Still, the overall result is satisfying.

Of course, the fact that the film was filmed in 1974 is something we cannot completely overlook: "Night Moves" has its age, whether we like it or not. That is one of the main reasons that I give it a 7/10, when it could get even higher.


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