HTF REVIEW: "Klute"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Klute

    If I was a teacher who taught film class,
    Klute would be one of the films I'd
    show my students as an example of brilliant
    artistic filmmaking.
    The story is about a family man who suddenly
    disappears. Small-town detective John Klute
    (Donald Sutherland) is brought to the city to
    question his only lead, a prostitute named Bree
    (Jane Fonda) who is thought to have been involved
    with the man's disappearance, until Klute discovers
    someone is stalking her.
    I had never seen this film until I viewed
    the DVD this evening. I found myself captivated
    by Alan J. Pakula's direction and Gordon Willis's
    photography. Originally filmed in Panavision,
    Pakula makes great use of the film's spacial
    dimensions. It's almost as if every shot was
    meticulously planned with characters placed in
    scenes like chess pieces. These scenes are often
    filmed behind shoulders, chairs or fences. Pakula
    uses lighting and shadows to skillfully show us
    things we should see and things we should not.
    There's these wonderful long shots of Bree
    undressing from afar as she walks in and out of
    dark shadows. I have never seen such clever use
    of a camera photographing scenes from above an
    elevator shaft or down a long, dark alleyway. The
    film is as artistic as it is hauntingly beautiful.
    How is the transfer?
    The anamorphic (2.35:1) DVD transfer looks
    excellent for a film of this age. The print
    has been thoroughly cleaned and contains very
    few blemishes. The picture has an amazing clarity,
    although colors are on the pale side giving the
    film a very warm look. At some points of the
    transfer picture looks a bit too soft and unfocused,
    but overall, I was impressed that it looked this good.
    The film is presented in MONO, and sounds
    generally good, with just the slightest hint
    of hiss in the background. The sounds is not as
    robust as other digital soundtrack remasters I
    have heard from this period.
    Extra Features
    Klute In New York: A background for suspense
    is a very interesting production documentary produced
    in 1971. It follows Fonda and Sutherland as they
    come to New York, talk about their feelings of
    being in the city, and their experience of working
    with Director Alan Pakula. This 8-minute documentary
    shows many of the film's key sequences being shot
    on the streets and in an abandoned church. Pakula
    talks about how the city dictated the shape of the
    script, adding much needed intensity to the film.
    A Filmography of the Cast & Crew is included
    as well as the film's original Theatrical Trailer.
    Final Thoughts
    Klute is a brilliant thriller that
    effectively showcases the talents of Sutherland
    and Fonda. In fact, I would say that this was
    the role of her career. The film is a true
    study of artistic filmmaking that still has as
    much impact upon the viewer today as it did over
    30 years ago.
    Release Date: February 5, 2002
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Ronbo,
    Great choice for a review of a film classic![​IMG] This role won Jane Fonda her first Best Actress AA and she was a real hottie in this film. Good performances all around with Fonda, Sutherland, Roy Scheider, and Charles Cioffi. One of the best thrillers from the 1970's.
    Crawdaddy
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  4. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    Indeed, this is one of the best movies of the '70s and the best movie Jane Fonda ever made. I've probably seen it a dozen times (including finally a nice new print a couple of years ago), but I am totally thrilled that a good DVD of Klute is here! That way the next dozen viewings can span a lot less time than 25 years...
    Alan J. Packula is really underrated as he was responsible for three of the great movies of the '70s: Klute, All The President's Men & The Parallax View. As much as I like the other two though, Klute is really the best one.
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  6. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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  7. Dharmesh C

    Dharmesh C Supporting Actor

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    Not many people interested in Klute? Top film, guys! [​IMG]
     
  8. PatrickL

    PatrickL Second Unit

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    Indeed. A very unique movie, one of the best films of the 70s, the role of Jane Fonda's career, and now a solid dvd that I've watched several times already.

    Thanks for the review, Ron.
     
  9. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark Second Unit

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    If you are a fan of Jane Fonda's acting, this is a "must see" movie. One of the great (powerful) female performances of that decade. It is also one of Sutherland's best performances because of his role being understated for a change. I must admit that after watching this movie in the 1970s, I had a crush on Fonda for a long time.
     
  10. Dave Barth

    Dave Barth Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw Klute for the first time this month, but I saw it on 35 mm. It's an good film with interesting direction and a memorable performance by Ms. Fonda.
    Like The Conversation, it's at least as much a character study as it is a mystery. I'm looking forward to seeing Pakula's other famous conspiracy films from this era, All the President's Men and The Parallax View.
     

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