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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Night Moves
Part of the thrill in watching this great film lies in the sense of discovery. Made in Hollywood in the early 1970s by a first-rate cast and crew, Night Moves disappeared soon after release and has largely been neglected ever since.

Rarely seen on television, and not easily available on DVD, Night Moves has gradually attained recognition, at least in some...
Published on 9 May 2012 by Yvonne Preston

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lost Cult Classic
Night Moves starring Gene Hackman is a long forgotten 70's film which has gained a mythic cult status as an intriguing film noir about a private detective investigating a case of missing girl. Solid performances throughout and a screen début for a very young Melanie Griffiths. Great moment when Hackman explains about a legendary chess move which completely...
Published 3 months ago by Darkbloom


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Night Moves, 9 May 2012
This review is from: Night Moves (DVD) (DVD)
Part of the thrill in watching this great film lies in the sense of discovery. Made in Hollywood in the early 1970s by a first-rate cast and crew, Night Moves disappeared soon after release and has largely been neglected ever since.

Rarely seen on television, and not easily available on DVD, Night Moves has gradually attained recognition, at least in some quarters, for being a fascinating detective thriller with a post-Watergate subtext. A revisionist detective movie was not to the public's taste (just as the Missouri Breaks, a revisionist western, similarly failed at the box office). And yet Night Moves, with a script by respected Scottish novelist Alan Sharp, contains a fine performance from Gene Hackman, and was directed by Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde).

Although it was released in 1975, Penn filmed Night Moves late in 1973, extensively reworking Sharp's script (originally titled, The Dark Tower). Penn hadn't released a movie since Little Big Man in 1970. During this three year break, he seemed to suffer some sort of personal crisis, and claims only to have agreed to make Night Moves on a whim; it was in fact originally a Sidney Pollack project. The film follows ex pro-footballer Harry Moseby (Gene Hackman), an LA private investigator who is searching for the runaway daughter of a faded movie actress. Moseby, meanwhile, discovers that his wife is having an affair. We soon realise that Moseby is a man who seems disconnected both from himself, and those around him. As the plot proceeds, Moseby uncovers clue after clue, but seems to lack the facility to see and understand the reality of his own situation.

Arthur Penn, speaking of the film's origins, referred to the Kennedy assassinations, and the sense of despair and pervading lack of optimism in American life. He saw the script that he and Alan Sharp developed into Night Moves as a detective story where the detective is cut adrift from his own life and the problems that surround it. The solution, once it arrives for Moseby, only continues the despair, rather than being a traditional detective movie solution.

With these intellectual concerns in mind, Penn created a most unHollywood-like thriller. Some critics have referred to the sort of revisionism seen in Robert Altman's version of The Long Goodbye, where the moral values and discipline of Raymond Chandler's creation, Philip Marlowe, were completely jettisoned. But what Night Moves does first is offer us a rounded, complex character as its private eye hero, not a debasement. From the first few scenes we see him as a man who is ill at ease in his life, and whose gut emotional response is to investigate, to snoop and weigh up, even in terms of his wife's infidelity.

Look out for a young James Woods as a mechanic, and Melanie Griffith playing the role of Delly Grastner, the runaway. DVD extras include the theatrical trailer and an interesting 8 minute featurette, The Day of the Director, shot during production of the film.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder, Mystery, Suspense - you gotta respect it, 13 Jan 2001
By A Customer
Right from the word go you know that this film is never going to lose your attention. Never spoonfed you have to make sure that you follow the film's intricacies as one trip out of the room and you will lose the plot altogether, (a bit like Gene Hackman's character in the film). The film however does deserve your full attention and the viewer is fully rewarded for watching with an ending that will leave you gobsmacked. Rife with Murder, Mystery and suspense the classic ingredients to cook a tantalising broth.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent Arthur Penn/Gene Hackman mystery, with a violent, poignant ending, 17 Aug 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Night Moves [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Harry Moseby is a private investigator with a marriage that's falling apart and an unwillingness to deal with his own personal issues. He used to play pro ball for Oakland; now he gets by with divorce work. He likes to solve chess problems. He's smarter than you think. One day he gets a call from a friend who says he's got a case for Harry. A 16-year-old girl, daughter of an alcoholic former small-time movie star and a deceased Hollywood mogul, has run away. Harry tracks the teenager down to an island off Florida and the home of her stepfather, Tom Iverson. Iverson and his wife, Paula, run a small charter boat operation. The days are filled with hot sunshine. The nights with puzzles and temptations. Harry intends to return the girl to her mother, but lands up to his eyes in murder, Hollywood stunt men, stolen Mexican artifacts and emotional betrayal.

Night Moves stars Gene Hackman as Moseby. It's one of his best roles. Arthur Penn directed and I'd put it up there with Penn's best. Several things make this movie so good. First is the coherence of a complicated story. At times Moseby is a step or two ahead of us. Some times we're a step or two ahead of Moseby. The solution, however, comes as a logical but surprising revelation to both Moseby and us. All the elements were there if we'd only noticed them. Penn's direction keeps us engrossed in the story and in the action. Even when Moseby is dealing with his wife who is having an affair, in part because of Moseby's own emotional distance, Penn keeps us involved and looking forward to the next part of the story.

Equally important, Night Moves features some first rate actors whom we believe in as their characters. After Hackman is Jennifer Warren as Paula Iverson, a complicated mixture of honesty and evasion. Paula is edgy, with a quick mouth and ping pong talk. She looks straight at you when she challenges you. Edward Binns as an aging stuntman gives another fine performance. He's tired, experienced and has seen it all. Melanie Griffith as Delly, the run-away sex nymphet, gives an excellent performance in her first billed role. She was 18 when she made the movie. Strong performances also are given by John Crawford as Tom Iverson, Janet Ward as Delly's usually drunk mother who is dependent on Delly's trust fund, Susan Clark as Harry's wife, Harris Yulin as her lover and James Woods as a repellant mechanic.

The movie steadily builds tension and interest as Harry tracks Delly down and meets Paula and Tom Iverson. Then one night Paula takes Delly for a late night swim and Harry decides to tag along. Delly strips off and dives in nude while Harry looks uncomfortable and Paula just smiles. Then Delly comes up screaming. Paula turns on the underwater lights and they peer through the glass bottom. Not too far down in the water they can see the remains of a small plane. In the cabin, fish are still nibbling at what's left of the pilot's face. At this point the movie picks up a lot of steam, with Harry determined to find out what's going on. The end of the movie is violent and surprisingly poignant. Night Moves is a movie worth having.

The DVD transfer looks just fine, maybe a little soft. There is one light-weight extra called The Day of the Director about Penn. It didn't seem worth sitting through.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a swing at me Harry the way Sam Spade would., 1 July 2013
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Night Moves (DVD) (DVD)
Night Moves is directed by Arthur Penn and written by Alan Sharp. It stars Gene Hackman, Jennifer Warren, Susan Clark, James Woods, Melanie Griffith, Edward Binns, Harris Yulin, Kenneth Mars and Janet Ward. Music is by Michael Small and cinematography by Bruce Surtees.

Former footballer turned private detective in Los Angeles Harry Moseby (Hackman), gets hired by an ageing actress to track down her trust-funded daughter Delly Grastner (Griffith), who is known to be in Florida. With his own personal life shaken by his wife's infidelity, Harry dives into the Grasten case with determination. Unfortunately nothing is as it first seems and it's not long before Harry is mired in murky goings on...

It sounds kind of bleak. Or is it just the way you tell it?

The locale is often bright and sunny but that's about the only thing that is in this excellent neo-noir. Harking back, and doffing its cap towards, the noir detective films of the classic cycle, Night Moves is ripe with characters who are either dubious or damaged. Protagonist Harry Moseby is thrust into a melancholic world that he has no control over, but he doesn't know this fact. As the mystery at the core of the dense plot starts to unravel, there's a bleakness, a 1970s air of cynicism, that pervades the narrative. Culminating in a finale that's suitably dark and ambiguous.

Harry thinks if you call him Harry again he's gonna make you eat that cat!

Alan Sharp's (Ulzana's Raid) terrific screenplay is appropriately as sharp as a razor. Dialogue is often hardboiled or zinging with wit, and the conversations come with sadness or desperation. Be it chatter about a fateful chess move, sexual enlightenment or the pains of childhood and bad parenting, Sharp's writing provides fascinating characters operating in a tense thriller environment.

Listen Delly, I know it doesn't make much sense when you're sixteen. Don't worry. When you get to be forty, it isn't any better.

Arthur Penn brilliantly threads it all together, as he hones a great performance out of Hackman and notable turns from the support players, he smoothly blends action with pulsing unease. There's nudity on show, but in Penn's hands it is never used for gratuitous purpose, it represents dangerous fantasies or dented psyches. Small's jazzy score is a fine tonal accompaniment, and Surtees' Technicolor photography provides deft mood enhancements for the interior and exterior sequences.

Biting and bitter, Night Moves is essential neo-noir. 9/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lost Cult Classic, 6 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Night Moves (DVD) (DVD)
Night Moves starring Gene Hackman is a long forgotten 70's film which has gained a mythic cult status as an intriguing film noir about a private detective investigating a case of missing girl. Solid performances throughout and a screen début for a very young Melanie Griffiths. Great moment when Hackman explains about a legendary chess move which completely blindsides a Grand Master.

Night Moves has a very 1970's feel to it which Is fine, but the quality of the print of this DVD is very poor which detracts from the experience. This film never found mainstream acclaim at the time; however, more recently it has been getting retrospective recognition. If you are a fan of 1970's cinema in the style of Klute, The Conversation, The Parallax View and haven't seen this, then it's worth checking out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Night Moves, 9 May 2012
This review is from: Night Moves [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Part of the thrill in watching this great film lies in the sense of discovery. Made in Hollywood in the early 1970s by a first-rate cast and crew, Night Moves disappeared soon after release and has largely been neglected ever since.

Rarely seen on television, and not easily available on DVD, Night Moves has gradually attained recognition, at least in some quarters, for being a fascinating detective thriller with a post-Watergate subtext. A revisionist detective movie was not to the public's taste (just as the Missouri Breaks, a revisionist western, similarly failed at the box office). And yet Night Moves, with a script by respected Scottish novelist Alan Sharp, contains a fine performance from Gene Hackman, and was directed by Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde).

Although it was released in 1975, Penn filmed Night Moves late in 1973, extensively reworking Sharp's script (originally titled, The Dark Tower). Penn hadn't released a movie since Little Big Man in 1970. During this three year break, he seemed to suffer some sort of personal crisis, and claims only to have agreed to make Night Moves on a whim; it was in fact originally a Sidney Pollack project. The film follows ex pro-footballer Harry Moseby (Gene Hackman), an LA private investigator who is searching for the runaway daughter of a faded movie actress. Moseby, meanwhile, discovers that his wife is having an affair. We soon realise that Moseby is a man who seems disconnected both from himself, and those around him. As the plot proceeds, Moseby uncovers clue after clue, but seems to lack the facility to see and understand the reality of his own situation.

Arthur Penn, speaking of the film's origins, referred to the Kennedy assassinations, and the sense of despair and pervading lack of optimism in American life. He saw the script that he and Alan Sharp developed into Night Moves as a detective story where the detective is cut adrift from his own life and the problems that surround it. The solution, once it arrives for Moseby, only continues the despair, rather than being a traditional detective movie solution.

With these intellectual concerns in mind, Penn created a most unHollywood-like thriller. Some critics have referred to the sort of revisionism seen in Robert Altman's version of The Long Goodbye, where the moral values and discipline of Raymond Chandler's creation, Philip Marlowe, were completely jettisoned. But what Night Moves does first is offer us a rounded, complex character as its private eye hero, not a debasement. From the first few scenes we see him as a man who is ill at ease in his life, and whose gut emotional response is to investigate, to snoop and weigh up, even in terms of his wife's infidelity.

Look out for a young James Woods as a mechanic, and Melanie Griffith playing the role of Delly Grastner, the runaway. DVD extras include the theatrical trailer and an interesting 8 minute featurette, The Day of the Director, shot during production of the film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars night moves, 21 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Night Moves [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
It was around this period that private eyes became caught up in taking a closer
interest in not only their own personal problems,but also those of their clients.
In fact,becoming a bit more human in the process. Here is a classic instance.
Gene Hackman is caught up in,what to the audience,soon becomes a complicated
mess of a plot. This state of affairs is beautifully stated at the end, with the
boat going round and round in circles. A clever movie,well worth seeing.

Mike
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars check mate, 16 July 2010
By 
A.D.M. (Norwich, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Night Moves [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
A fine example of 70s film making right here, Night Moves drifts along for an enthralling opening 75 minutes, never quite giving the game away as to where its headed. Instead in this drawn out beginning, you are presented with a delightful script which gives the well crafted characters plenty of room to breathe and develop, being both intelligent and witty. Each actor carries their roll with aplomb, there is no filler here whatsoever. Suddenly the film switches up four gears for the somewhat out of character rollercoaster finale, messy (literally) and perhaps feeling a touch forced before the absolutely stunning final shot, perhaps my favourite final shot this side of the original Pelham 1,2,3. Smart film, well worth you 100 minutes.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie, Great Script- Hackman is on Fire- but something is missing., 9 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Night Moves [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
When released in 1975, Night Moves came and went almost without trace. So it's nice to have the film on DVD, though it is still unavailable in Europe.

Night Moves is about a Private investigator, Hackman who takes up a case to find a missing 16 year old. He traces her to Florida, but finding her is only the beginning. He also has his own personal demons- an awkward childhood and his wife is cheating on him. I won't go more into the plot as it's best to come in fresh.

Gene Hackman really makes this movie work, and if he were not here, one wonders just how Night Moves would have turned out. A very young Melanie Griffith plays the sex crazed missing girl and puts in a good performance. Jennifer Warren's lines are clunky which is ashame as one of Night Moves attributes is its script penned by Alan Sharp. Arthur Penn after a five year hiatus directs very well. And watch out for James Woods, he doesn't get much screen time, but is key to the plot- it's the usual screaming over the top on the edge Woods, and as ever is a delight to watch.

There's dashes of brilliant humour and the score is to die for. But Night Moves seems to have been praised quite highly on here, and considering some of the real classic thrillers of the 70s this is confusing. It's certaintly a good structed and well acted film, but the real meat seems to be missing from the bone of this film. This DVD includes a featurette on the making of Night Moves, which considering the era it was made in, is gold.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great movie - not released in UK. delivery from USA worked fine, 21 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Night Moves [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
excelent fast deal. good product. as described. would deal again. no extra charges or customs levy. have been looking for this title for ages
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