Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Parallax View (1974) Movie Review


Joe Frady is a determined reporter who often needs to defend his work from colleagues. After the assassination of a prominent U.S. senator, Frady begins to notice that reporters present during the assassination are dying mysteriously. After getting more involved in the case, Frady begins to realize that the assassination was part of a conspiracy somehow involving the Parallax Corporation, an enigmatic training institute. He then decides to enroll for the Parallax training himself to discover the truth.


Political conspiracy thriller par excellence.
The late Alan J. Pakula's 1974 film about political murders is a superbly crafted thriller that holds the audience in its quiet, unsettling grip.

Warren Beatty gives his character of Joe Frady, a "third-rate" journalist, just the right balance of recklessness and determination to enable one to have faith in this man to uncover such shady, potentially threatening goings-on.

Beatty is ably backed up by the supporting cast, most notably Hume Cronyn as Frady's editor, and Paula Prentiss and William Daniels as, respectively, a television reporter and columnist both in fear for their lives.

Composer Michael Small's main theme (used at strategic points throughout the film and often playing on the traditional patriotic sound of the trumpet) has a quality both mournful and despairing that relates effectively to what we are watching. It is a rather sparse music score, but this seems to add to its power. Gordon Willis's Panavision photography conveys threat in even the most everyday of locations (his rendering of modern architecture is especially strong in suggesting a faceless, omnipotent threat), while the editing rhythms and sound design contribute a great deal in throwing the audience off-balance.

Pakula has been involved in more widely-known projects such as All The President's Men and Presumed Innocent, but The Parallax View is definitely one of his best and most powerful films.

Watch Trailler


Alan J. Pakula


Warren BeattyWarren Beatty...
Paula PrentissPaula Prentiss...
Lee Carter
William DanielsWilliam Daniels...
Austin Tucker
Walter McGinnWalter McGinn...
Jack Younger
Hume CronynHume Cronyn...
Bill Rintels
Kelly ThordsenKelly Thordsen...
Sheriff L.D. Wicker
Chuck WatersChuck Waters...
Thomas Richard Linder
Earl HindmanEarl Hindman...
Deputy Red
William JoyceWilliam Joyce...
Senator Charles Carroll (as Bill Joyce)
Bettie JohnsonBettie Johnson...
Mrs. Charles Carroll
Bill McKinneyBill McKinney...
Parallax Assassin
Jo Ann HarrisJo Ann Harris...
Chrissy - Frady's Girl (as JoAnne Harris)
Ted GehringTed Gehring...
Schecter - Hotel Clerk
Lee PulfordLee Pulford...
Shirley - Salmontail Bar Girl
Doria Cook-NelsonDoria Cook-Nelson...
Gale from Salmontail (as Doria Cook)
Produced by
Robert Jiras....assistant producer (as Robert E. Jiras)
Gabriel Katzka....executive producer
Charles H. Maguire....associate producer
Alan J. Pakula....producer
Original Music by
Michael Small 
Cinematography by
Gordon Willis

No comments:

Post a Comment