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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 .



Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
... Harry Moseby
... Paula
... Joey Ziegler
... Marty Heller
... Nick
Janet Ward ... Arlene Iverson
... Quentin
Anthony Costello ... Marv Ellman
... Tom Iverson
... Delilah 'Delly' Grastner
Ben Archibek ... Charles
... Boy in Bar
C.J. Hincks ... Girl in Bar
... Stud (as Maxwell Gail Jr.)
Susan Barrister ... Ticket Clerk


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


Maybe he would find the girl... maybe he would find himself. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

30 August 1975 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Dark Tower  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The house belonging to James Woods' character Quentin was owned by Phil Kaufman, road manager for Gram Parsons at the time of his death. Kaufman's subsequent actions became the basis for the film Grand Theft Parsons (2003). The cast and crew of Night Moves were shooting at the house on the day the police came to question Kaufman, and as they were taking him away, Arthur Penn turned to Gene Hackman and said, "Man, we're shooting the wrong movie". See more »


When the crashed plane is found by Melanie Griffith's character, the dead pilot's face is being picked at by fish. The plane is supposed to have crashed in the ocean off the coast of Florida, but the fish are carp, which are strictly freshwater fish. See more »


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


Referenced in American Cinema: Film Noir (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

The Real Mystery Is Figuring Out That Some Likable People Do Bad Things
5 March 2014 | by See all my reviews

Private investigator Harry Moseby (Hackman) has his hands full retrieving a teen runaway (Griffith) from the Florida Keys back to Los Angeles. A routine case shuffled off to him by a rival, the matter nevertheless evolves into a complicated multiple murder plot. Normally distant Harry has difficulty separating his personal feelings from the facts The first half of this film is such a dull and plodding downbeat soap opera that it challenges the patience of the viewer. The relationships of a group of emotionally broken people hinting at personal guilt over sordid pasts thrown together by less than ideal circumstances don't always tie in with the actual narrative. But they aren't really meant to.

The real mystery of the story rests within the human interactions and what is important vs what is trivial. Harry is in fact a very poor detective. He lets those few emotional connections he is able to make with people cloud his judgements whilst assuming guilt on the part of those he doesn't like. What makes him a hero nevertheless is that he doesn't quit even if it means discovering personal betrayal.

Telling moments are rife. The way different people react differently from each other is a continual source of confusion for Harry. His inability to connect with his own wife on an emotional level has made her feel alone even in their most intimate moments together. Yet he lets his guard down with the wrong kinds of complete strangers. It certainly isn't by choice.

This is a more sophisticated form of detective story in that it offers an examination of the mindset of the detective - one who happens to be emotionally vulnerable and even a tad fragile.

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