6.3/10
13,977
79 user 48 critic

Tightrope (1984)

New Orleans single dad and cop Wes Block goes after a serial rapist-killer but when he gets too close to the target the hunter suddenly becomes the hunted.

Director:

Richard Tuggle

Writer:

Richard Tuggle (screenplay)

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Wes Block
Geneviève Bujold ... Beryl Thibodeaux
Dan Hedaya ... Det. Molinari
Alison Eastwood ... Amanda Block
Jenny Beck ... Penny Block (as Jennifer Beck)
Marco St. John ... Leander Rolfe
Rebecca Perle ... Becky Jacklin
Regina Richardson Regina Richardson ... Sarita
Randi Brooks ... Jamie Cory
Jamie Rose ... Melanie Silber
Margaret Howell Margaret Howell ... Judy Harper
Rebecca Clemons Rebecca Clemons ... Girl with Whip
Janet MacLachlan ... Dr. Yarlofsky
Graham Paul Graham Paul ... Luther
Bill Holliday Bill Holliday ... Police Chief
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Storyline

Wes Block is a detective who's put on the case of a serial killer whose victims are young and pretty women, that he rapes and murders. The killings are getting personal when the killer chooses victims who are acquaintances of Block. Even his daughters are threatened. Written by Tony Kessen <rhkessen@cs.vu.nl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A cop on the edge...


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Wolf hetzt die Meute See more »

Filming Locations:

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,156,545, 19 August 1984

Gross USA:

$48,143,579
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The movie was controversial for its S&M story elements. See more »

Goofs

Despite shooting on location in New Orleans, not one person in this movie has a regional Louisiana, New Orleans, or Cajun accent. See more »

Quotes

Beryl Thibodeaux: Do you investigate many sexual crimes?
Wes Block: Why?
Beryl Thibodeaux: I was wondering if they've had any... effect on you.
Wes Block: Well, they did make me want to treat my wife a little more tenderly.
Beryl Thibodeaux: How did she respond?
Wes Block: She said she wasn't interested in tenderness.
See more »

Alternate Versions

ABC edited 16 minutes from this film for its 1987 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Flying Doctors: Sins of the Father (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

Well-made psychological thriller.
24 February 2000 | by chrstphrtullySee all my reviews

Of all of Clint Eastwood's performances, this is probably my favourite. In this part, Eastwood gives his character enormous depth and vulnerability, and touches on the insecurities and weaknesses that drive an otherwise normal man into sexual deviance. All of this he does in the guise of one of his most well-worn characters -- a police detective out after a psychopathic killer. Unlike the "Dirty Harry" pictures or "The Gauntlet", in which Eastwood only suggested the existence of human weakness, here that weakness is interwoven with the plot (in which the psychopath knows and manipulates the detective's weakness for deviant sex), heightening the tension.

What makes the film all the more impressive is that it doesn't dwell exclusively on the deviant side of Eastwood's personality. That would be the easy way out. Instead, it counterbalances that aspect of his character with some nice family moments, making sure to let the audience know (and convincingly at that) that this is a man who truly does have more than one side to him.

The acting from the supporting players is fine, although most of them (namely, Genevieve Bujold and Dan Hedaya) are given little to do. Perhaps the most surprising discovery from the film is the performance of Eastwood's daughter Alison, who gives an exceptional performance as the detective's daughter, who senses something is not quite right with her father, but loves him just the same.

The film is not without flaws -- Tuggle's script skips a couple of grooves in the plausibility category (namely, when certain characters have to be killed off), and there are a few gaps in the script. All told, however, Tuggle's direction is strong, using dimly lit sets for more than just noirish effect, and building up to a very strong finale. Moreover, his scriptwriting flaws can be excused because of the strong and full character he creates.

This is a film in which Eastwood creates a character not unlike that in his superb performance in "In the Line of Fire." All the same, it is a performance that in a weaker Oscar year might have been worthy of an Oscar nomination.


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