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The Parallax View 1974

4.0 out of 5 stars (41) IMDb 7.2/10

While the Watergate scandal filled the headlines, Alan J. Pakula's 1974 thriller took its inspiration from the conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination. Journalist Joe Frady (Warren Beatty) misses witnessing the assassination of a senator at Seattle's Space Needle, but his newswoman former girlfriend Lee Carter (Paula Prentiss) was there.

Starring:
Warren Beatty, Paula Prentiss
Runtime:
1 hour, 41 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Thriller
Director Alan J. Pakula
Starring Warren Beatty, Paula Prentiss
Supporting actors William Daniels, Walter McGinn, Hume Cronyn, Kelly Thordsen, Chuck Waters, Earl Hindman, William Joyce, Betty Murray, Bill McKinney, Jo Ann Harris, Ted Gehring, Lee Pulford, Doria Cook-Nelson, Jim Davis, Joan Lemmo, Kenneth Mars, William Jordan, Edward Winter
Studio Paramount
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
For years I thought that All The President's Men was the best 70s conspiracy thriller. However, since I bought this film on DVD I have changed my mind.

I first saw this film on TV years ago and I was quite impressed. The film was listed as film of the week in the weekend papers, so I taped it. Since then I had been wanting to give it a second viewing, but it wasn't available anywhere.

The film itself draws parallels with the various political assassinations of the 1960s, particularly the death of Robert Kennedy. From here you'll have to watch it yourself, but Pakula builds a thriller based around secretive organisations and paranoia.

Well worth viewing, and it gets better everytime. You might need to watch the ending again to understand it.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A near-perfect paranoia movie that would be very difficult to get made these days! It looks good—as you'd expect, and the use of sound (or lack thereof) is chilling. You get the feeling that this is really happening, and you just happen to be observing it, but you're unable to intervene. Chilling.
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Format: DVD
Director Alan J Pakula’s 1974 political conspiracy thriller was made during one of Hollywood’s golden periods (labelled ‘New Hollywood’) – roughing covering the 1970s – when film-makers assumed greater artistic (and political) control of their output, leading to films such as Network, The Conversation, Chinatown, Serpico, Blue Collar and Pakula’s own Klute and All The President’s Men. Sandwiched between these latter Pakula films was The Parallax View, based on Loren Singer’s novel, in which Warren Beatty’s maverick reporter, Joe Frady, becomes ensnared in more shenanigans of paranoia and political conspiracy and, whilst (for me) The Parallax View is not quite in the same league as the aforementioned films, it still provides an impressively understated, and increasingly disturbing, take on what is a relatively well-worn cinematic genre.

Beatty is impressive (if, perhaps, a little too hunky) as the laid-back and initially disbelieving Frady, who rejects the theories of ex-girlfriend Paula Prentiss’ Lee Carter that the motives behind the assassination of a Senator (in a impressive sequence on the top of the Seattle Space Needle – recalling Hitchcock’s Statue Of Liberty denouement in Saboteur) are being obscured by ‘knocking off’ witnesses one by one. Pakula sets up the 'faceless men in suits’ (up to no good) ambience brilliantly – including the superb scene of the official enquiry announcing its judgement/'whitewash’ ('there will be no questions’) – which keeps us guessing as to who or what is behind the mysterious events, as Frady goes off in pursuit of other witnesses.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What was it about the 70's when actors with interesting faces could make you believe what was on the screen and help you lose yourself in the world of a film? I miss that time and that quality, but happily I can revisit it through films like THE PARALLAX VIEW. I had heard about the film and it sounded intriguing. I was certainly not disappointed - not in the least.
I find discovering these forgotten gems to be one of the reasons why I am a film buff. I watched this with my wife (who knows I like some weird stuff) and we couldn't stop talking about it afterward, trying to figure out what happened (or seemed to) and talking about what certain characters were really doing.
I am a fan of this director's other films , such as KLUTE and ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN. The films exert a pull on the viewer and can be hypnotic. Highly recommended - don't read about the film's plot beforehand, just buy it.
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Format: DVD
..I'm amazed nobody has praised this film here yet, but then it has been unavailable until now, which is equally amazing. A neglected masterpiece whatever you may think of Warren Beatty. See it!
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Format: DVD
Against tremendous odds, it works superbly; and, after forty years, Alan Pakula's paranoid thriller still seems highly relevant and utterly, horribly disturbing. This is a film that takes huge risks with audience tolerance, and it's not at all surprising that some people, perfectly intelligent and sensitive people, hate it, or are baffled by it. It makes nothing easy for the spectator, and quite how it is that it works so well remains something of a mystery. It posits a familiar premise - lone crusading reporter begins to sniff out an enormous story, but must go it alone against mighty and mysterious evil forces - and then turns it inside-out. We are startled when the journo-hero (Warren Beatty) quickly proves himself to be a shabby loser, manifestly incapable of landing a big story, let alone "the scoop of the century", but that's not all - by the time he pretends to be a borderline psychopath so as to be recruited by a mysterious Murder Inc.-style organization which specialises in political killings, we wonder if he doesn't genuinely have a screw loose somewhere. Pakula never makes anything clear, and Beatty never once allows charm or charisma to inform his performance. He finds out only enough to tantalise us - by the film's shocking end, we still don't know who the killers are, or what their agenda is. Their victims include a flagrant redneck as well as as a Kennedy liberal type, and they seem to have tentacles in every corner of American life. They are unstoppable. Never explaining is an immensely dangerous strategy, and Pakula takes this to extremes, not even offering us the superficial explanations you'd get in a TV episode to justify the forward momentum of his plotline.Read more ›
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