The Pickering Commission concluded that a lone gunman killed US President Kegan in 1960, in Philadelphia. 19 years later a dying man confesses to be the real shooter hired to kill him. Kegan's brother and filthy rich father investigate.
Scudder is a detective with the Sheriff's Department who is forced to shoot a violent suspect during a narcotics raid. The ensuing psychological aftermath of this shooting worsens his ... See full summary »
Charles is a Salt Lake City civil servant who loves (*LOVES*) Laura, a lovely housewife with a lovely step-daughter and an A-frame-selling, ex-quarterback husband named Ox. His roommate is ... See full summary »
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.
A fifteen year marriage dissolves, leaving both the husband and wife, and their four children, devastated. He's preoccupied with a career and a mistress, she with a career and caring for ... See full summary »
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
Ivan Passer once said in an article entitled "Passer's Way", published in the July/August 1981 edition of "Film Comment" magazine, "You can assassinate movies as you can assassinate people. I think UA murdered the film. Or at least they tried to murder it". See more »
When Alex Cutter is charging across the estate on a horse, his missing arm changes sides briefly. See more »
Ostensibly this film appears to be a buddy movie from the 1980s, but it is actually something much more interesting. Employing standard Hollywood clinches with its thriller/ investigation narrative and many of of its "stock" characters and situations, the little guys - Heard and Bridges - take on Mr Fat Cat Capitalist who rules the peacetime world like an untouchable and corrupt monarch. The film, though well-executed and enjoyable, at first seems no more than a well-scripted, well-acted (Heard is particularly good as the embittered, crippled Vietnam Veteran) genre piece. However, what emerges by the end is something far more exciting and radical - an indictment of US politics and power relations, and a genuinely bleak reflection on the impossibility and rarity of real justice both at the micro and macro levels.
Vietnam and its true significance is used to great effect in the film, as is the interplay between the two buddies. Whilst Bridges won't accept that he has witnessed the ultimate, bleak truth of US power relations until the film's abrupt, punchy end, Heard knows the truth intuitively and automatically because he understands and hates the world from the the start. He has given up on notions such as forgiveness and even the need for legal process, and seeks only revenge on the rich and the powerful. He understands, correctly, that is the only way a kind of momentary justice is possible, since everything else is either controlled by the elites or made to protect them. Without wishing to spoil the film's brilliant final moments, it is here that the whodunnit story is stripped away and the guilt they have been seeking to prove, as Richard Bone realises, becomes entirely political or metaphysical, and the the crime itself becomes irrelevant.
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