Created by Andy and Dave Lewis
Donald Sutherland plays small-town sleuth JOHN KLUTE in Klute, a 1971 film that's better remembered for Jane Fonda's Oscar-winning turn as Bree Daniel, a jittery high-class call girl (and a scene where Hank Fonda's daughter slowly, oh so slowly, strips off her dress. --editor), than for its title character . That's because Fonda definitely got the showier role in the film, and also because she did a great job with it. Still, in his own low-key way Sutherland matches Fonda scene-for-scene with an understated performance that's just as emotionally true and squirmy, and this makes Klute one of the better P.I. films of the early 1970s, only a notch or two below Chinatown.
The set up is that P.I. John Klute is a personal friend of a Pennsylvania corporate executive who has been missing for several months. The corporation hires the soft-spoken Klute to find their missing exec and sends him to New York City to track him down. Unfortunately, Klute isn't exactly the ideal person to investigate the disappearance -- he admits up front that he has no experience in missing persons cases, nor in big-city investigations. As a result, Klute soon finds himself over his head in a seemingly amoral world of Big Apple call girls, pimps and high-living low-lifes.
However, Klute has a quiet determination to succeed, and sticks with the case. The mystery he has to solve isn't all that complex, but the film is. It's a terrific character study of two very different people, both questioning their lives in different ways, thrown up against a culture seriously at war with itself. Highly recommended viewing, especially for detective buffs who prefer a bit of psychological drama with their sleuthing.
-- Bree Daniel
Debbi Mack found it at the movies.
Respectfully submitted by Rudyard Kennedy.
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