Though he becomes the "bad guy," the viewer can't help but feel sorry for Murray's character as his world falls apart all around him. All because of one error in judgement. This film is an effective - if unintentional - indictment on big-city policing. Not through the cops' position, but society's, as we demand so much from the police, yet become so righteous when they accomplish the job they are tasked with. One strike against the film is the oh-so-superior, smug stereotypes of the white working-class. A plus, James Earl Jones' funny performance as the suave, but sinister perp. Great NYC photography.
KLUTE stands along the all-but-forgotten PARALLAX VIEW as Pakula's masterworks.
Not much more can be said about this American masterpiece that hasn't been said before. But there is one bone I'd like to pick. It's the Vietnam Vet issue. Most people seem to accept it at face value. But we are never really sure that Travis ever served in the military, let alone Vietnam. It's doubtful that a semi-literate simpleton would have passed the endless series of mental, psychological tests needed for entrance into military service. It's highly likely that Mr. Bickle's rejection from society began at his home-town's recruiting office, long before his fatefull move to New york.
Many Vietnam vets single this film out for (unintentionally?) creating the negative image of the crazed veteran, still accepted by the American public to this day. Still, this film is a shining example of what the American Cinema was capable of doing once upon a time...