ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – K – Klute (1971)

Director: Alan J Pakula

Writer: Andy Lewis, David E Lewis (Screenplay)

Starring: Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Charles Cioffi, Roy Scheider, Dorothy Tristan, Rita Gam, Nathan George

 

Plot: A small-town detective searching for a missing man has only one lead: a connection with a New York prostitute.


Tagline – You’d never take her for a call girl. You’d never take him for a cop.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Thriller

 

Story: Klute starts when a man goes missing with one of the last people to see him alive being a New York prostitute Bree Daniels (Fonda) a woman that is trying to get into acting, she has had many clients through the years and has now started unsettling phone calls. Detective John Klute (Sutherland) is still trying to get to the bottom of the missing persons case, which sees him returning to Bree for more information.

As Klute spends more time learning how Bree operates, he starts to meet the other people in the sex underworld of New York city including her former pimp Frank Ligourin (Scheider) and fellow prostitute Arlyn Page (Tristan), with each leading him to the answer in his missing persons case.

 

Thoughts on Klute

 

Characters – Bree Daniels is the New York prostitute that has been trying to become an actress, she has stop taking as many tricks as before and is the key witness in a missing persons case, she is being watched over by Klute who starts to help her see life in a different light, one which makes her happy, though she is always fearing about how he will judge her for her past. John Klute is a detective trying to locate a missing person, he keeps watch over Bree become romantically involved with her, he shows her a different way to see life, while seeing how this underworld operate. Frank Ligourin is Bree’s pimp that is always trying to get the best for his women, no matter what that means for the women, if they get paid, he gets paid.

PerformancesJane Fonda is wonderful in this leading role, she brings the upfront confidence you would expect from a call girl, with the ability to show change through the film. Donald Sutherland is brilliant too, he keeps his character straight down the line like he needs to through the film. the rest of the cast are flawless and let the leads take the centre stage throughout.

StoryThe story here follows a police detective that spends time with prostitute that might hold the answers to a missing person only to find himself involved in a bigger mystery about who she is. We do spend plenty of time following Bree and seeing how she operates her off the record career and how she is trying to go straight, while being stalked, we get the unsettling feeling that she is going through during the film. seeing how the investigation unfolds is interesting because we see how he doesn’t worry about how many different illegal activities he finds himself going into. This is a tense thriller that does keep us on edge just to see what will happen next to the characters.

Crime/MysteryThe crime side of the film does show us how the prostitute world operates and how the answers for the case will come from what Klute learns.

SettingsThe film is set in New York City which will is always a busy city for any crime story to unfold in.


Scene of the Movie –
First meeting with Frank.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It doesn’t seem to give us enough clues to what happened to the missing person.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that does keep us guessing to just what will happen next and what is going on in this world.

 

Overall: Intense Thriller.

Rating

 

 

The Pelican Brief (1993)

Director: Alan J Pakula

Writer: Alan J Pakula (Screenplay) John Grisham (Book)

Starring: Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard, John Heard, Tony Goldwyn, James Sikking, William Atherton, Robert Culp, John Lithgow

 

Plot: A law student uncovers a conspiracy, putting herself and others in danger.


Tagline – Two Supreme Court Justices have been assassinated. One lone law student has stumbled upon the truth. An investigative journalist wants her story. Everybody else wants her dead.

Runtime: 2 Hours 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Political Thriller

 

Story: The Pelican Brief starts when two Supreme Court Justices are assassinated, bring the country to a stand still in shock. Law student Darby Shaw (Roberts) puts together a theory of who was behind the assassinations, which she presents to her boyfriend and professor Thomas (Shepard), one theory that has turned his head.

After the theory is presented to the people investigating, Darby and Tom start getting targeted, when journalist friend of one of the victims Gray Grantham (Washington) start investigating a bigger conspiracy going on within the government, one that will put both their lives in danger.

 

Thoughts on The Pelican Brief

 

Characters – Darby is a law student having an affair with her professor, after the assassinations, she comes up with a theory about who was behind them, which sees her become a target for the people behind it, she doesn’t know who to trust seeing anybody she does get killed, her last resort is Gray. Gray is a journalist that has worked with the victims in the past, he is willing to dig for the truth, he does become Darby’s last resort and works with her to expose the truth which will become the biggest story of his career. Thomas Callahan is the connection between Darby and the people involved, he is a professor, with her theory interesting him at his own risk. We do go through many different political figures in search for the truth here, each one has their own agenda and could be involved.

PerformancesJulia Roberts in the leading role is strong as she gives us a strong independent figure that has been running for her life trying to expose the truth. Denzel Washington was a growing star at the time of release, here he makes us believe that he is a star in the role which is filled with the determination and skill to start ahead of the game. The rest of the cast are all strong with them each getting the moments to shine with them all having the importance to the story.

StoryThe story follows a law student and journalist that must team up to investigate the assassinations of the two members of the supreme court that puts both their lives in danger as it could bring the political system down. This story does give us plenty of swerves along the way as it does keep us guessing just to where everything will be going, it does show us how a political system will be used to gain an advantage and can be used to cover up anything that will incriminate them. The idea of the cover up shows just how corruption can effect so many lives and is ready to be exposed.

Crime/MysteryThe crime side of the film shows just how the laws can be bent to help the people who want to make the most money, how much they will do to cover up their secrets and how corrupt they will become. The mystery side of the film show just how the corruption needs to be investigated, how far up the chain it could go too.

SettingsThe film is set in a couple of major cities in America Washington and New York mostly, which show just how the big companies will use the political power to make the most money.


Scene of the Movie –
The video.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too long, with too many characters at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a political thriller that does keep you guessing, it shows how far up the chain corruption can go and how covering it up can be the only option.

 

Overall: Political thriller 101

Rating

 

 

Presumed Innocent (1990)

posterDirector: Alan J Pakula

Writer: Frank Pierson, Alan J Pakula (Screenplay) Scott Turow (Novel)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Brian Dennehy, Raul Julia, Bonnie Bedelia, Paul Winfield, Greta Scacchi, John pencer, Joe Grifasi

 

Plot: When a female D.A. is killed, the D.A. assigns his assistant to handle the investigation. Only problem is that he was having an affair with her. And the evidence reveals that he is the killer. So he suspects that the man who wants his boss’ job is trying to frame him. He turns to Sandy Stern a highly celebrated defense attorney to represent him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Courtroom Drama

 

Story: Presumed Innocent starts when Carolyn Polhemus (Scacchi) an assistant D.A. attorney is killed the D.A. Raymond Horgan (Dennehy) assigns chief deputy Rusty Sabich (Ford) to investigate a case that doesn’t make sense for the cases Carolyn takes part in.

When the case gets complicated it is her past with Rusty that doesn’t make the case easy for him to investigate as what seems like a rape case could turn out to be set to look like a rape case pointing the finger at one of the criminals she had put away.

When Rusty becomes the main suspect for the murder and must turns to his courtroom rival Alejandro ‘Sandy’ Stern (Julia) to take on the D.A. office who have all turned on Rusty using his previous affair as the main motive for the murder.

 

Thoughts on Presumed Innocent

 

Characters/PerformanceRusty is a very questionable character, he has had an affair which takes away any respect you could have for him even if he is a brilliant attorney, Sandy you can see as a brilliant attorney in his own right that goes out of his way to get the case in his direction which is good to see playing about what could be considered the disgraced attorney. Raymond the D.A. does feel like your typical political figure that abuses their power as often as they like.

Performance wise everything is good but not their best work no one does anything that stands out and by the end you don’t think this will be a memorable role for the iconic Harrison Ford or Raul Julia.preumed

StoryI am usually a fan of a good courtroom drama as they can pull us in until the final outcome of the crime. This story flows very slowly with a court cast that does feel like you could see solved with ease. I felt this story just doesn’t pull us in enough to care about the case mainly because our defendant isn’t painted to be the most respectable character in the first place so we just don’t care who if he is innocent or not.

Mystery/ThrillerWe get a mystery but we don’t get many suspects for the crime which disappoints the thrilling side as we don’t get a chance to figure out who could be behind the crime.

SettingsWe have the traditional courtroom settings that show us just how most of the suspects would have understood just how to cover up murders with ease.genre

Final ThoughtsThis just doesn’t capture us like the other courtroom dramas and then could have been a lot more intense.

 

Overall: A Courtroom drama that just doesn’t hit all the levels it could.

Ratingrating