6.9/10
4,346
54 user 41 critic

Cutter's Way (1981)

Richard spots a man dumping a body, and decides to expose the man he thinks is the culprit with his friend Alex Cutter.

Director:

Ivan Passer

Writers:

Newton Thornburg (novel), Jeffrey Alan Fiskin (screenplay)
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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Bridges ... Richard Bone
John Heard ... Alex Cutter
Lisa Eichhorn ... 'Mo'
Ann Dusenberry ... Valerie Duran
Stephen Elliott Stephen Elliott ... J. J. Cord
Arthur Rosenberg Arthur Rosenberg ... George Swanson
Nina van Pallandt ... Woman in the Hotel (as Nina Van Pallandt)
Patricia Donahue ... Mrs. Cord
Geraldine Baron Geraldine Baron ... Susie Swanson
Katherine Pass Katherine Pass ... Toyota Woman
Francis X. McCarthy ... Toyota Man (as Frank McCarthy)
George Planco George Planco ... Toyota Cop
Jay Fletcher Jay Fletcher ... Cord Security Guard
George Dickerson George Dickerson ... Mortician
Jack Murdock Jack Murdock ... Concession Owner
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Storyline

Alex Cutter (Heard) came back from war minus an eye, a leg, and an arm and mad as hell. He lacks direction, drinks too much, and abuses his wife (Eichhorn). One night his friend Richard Bone (Bridges) witnesses someone dumping something in an alley; it turns out to be the body of a young girl. When Cutter hears about it, he embarks on a crusade to expose the killer, enlisting the help of the murdered girl's sister. Bone reluctantly joins them. Are they right or are they in search of their white whale? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

On March 20, 1981 a film titled "Cutter and Bone" opened in New York. In the months that followed the film became a legend. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 February 1982 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Cutter and Bone See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,729,274
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gurian Entertainment See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Paul R. Gurian gave script-writer Jeffrey Alan Fiskin a list of directors, and asked him who he thought should direct the film. Ivan Passer's name was the only one the screenwriter didn't recognize. To investigate the director, Fiskin and a couple of United Artists executives screened Passer's 1965 Czech film Intimate Lighting (1965) [Intimate Lightning] and agreed that he was the man to direct the film. Interestingly enough, in 1971, Passer delivered the film Born to Win (1971) to United Artists. See more »

Goofs

Just after Bone's car breaks down in the alleyway we see a shot of the second car pulling up behind his and stopping. In the following shot from the inside of Bone's car you can see the the headlights of the second car still moving through the back windscreen. See more »

Quotes

George Swanson: I'm going to score one for you, Alex.
Alex Cutter: You've been watching too many Babe Ruth movies, George.
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Connections

Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

We're Old Enough to Know
Music by Jack Nitzsche
Lyrics by John Byrum
Vocals by Jack Nitzsche
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User Reviews

not really "underrated" but more like ignored. This movie is very good.
7 January 2003 | by screamin' hamsterSee all my reviews

A friend of mine gave me the novel Cutter and Bone (AKA Cutter's Way) was based on, so that immediately creates a problem, comparing two different art forms.

Forget the novel (by the obscure Newton Thornburg) for this purpose only. The movie is a moving meditation on power, desperation, and paranoia. It is also a great love story.

I always end up writing "...you've read the other comments so you know what this is about" but Cutter and Bone is so many things, it cannot be pinned down easily.

As noted in the favorable reviews here, this is chock full of great film acting that moves the story along as well as making come alive. Who was the clueless shmoe who said "nothing happens"? What movie was he watching?

Adrift in post-Vietnam America, Cutter finally finds something in life that has meaning; the murder of a young hitchhiker.

But any meaning is too much for the damaged Cutter who becomes relentless in the pursuit of a possible killer who also is of the wealthy, powerful elite that sent OPS (other people's sons) to Vietnam. Cutter finally has a genuine target ("he's not anyone Rich, he's RESPONSIBLE" says Cutter to Richard Bone in a great line delivery by John Heard) for his unfocused righteous anger.

Bone tries to sabotage the investigation but ends up buying in at the very end. Why? He has the rage also, as did many Americans who weren't politically active, did not serve in Vietnam. It's a rage that infected a nation with guilt, self-doubt, and eventually, a new hubris, a kind of "never again" attitude toward "less developed" nations that has us yet again on the brink of yet another war in a series of wars that seem to never end and we hardly even notice anymore (remember Grenada? Bombing Tripoli and Benghazi? proxy armies in Nicaragua and El Salvador, etc.?)

The other part of Cutter and Bone is a love triangle and a very well explicated one at that. Cutter and Bone both love Mo who can't love herself. Bone is not as shallow as he appears and it scares him. Cutter is too damaged and angry to love her enough until she is gone.

I've known these people in one way or another, and that is why this movie has always meant so much to me. It is also about a great country I used to live in that began to disappear about the time this movie is set, and has since metamorphosed into a large wounded, angry monster, bereft of the tears for near-paradise lost that this excellent movie depicts.


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