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on 8 September 2017
The twilight world of tarts, tricks and tacky sex-murders.
Donald Sutherland and Jane Fonda involved in, well .. just involved!
'Klute' is damn spooky. Director Alan J Pakula tangling the dark thriller atmosphere with a grainy air of sleazy inevitability.
Deserved Oscars all round.

Luckily for Donald - a detective come up to the big ugly city to discover what happened to a missing friend - his enquiries lead to the dishevelled apartment of jaw-dropping Jane and her shiny, thigh-high boots ..
Jane, a wannabe actress/expensive hooker who talks dirty to her tricks (and it's jolly hot !), gets it on with Donald - which is not always a good idea. (Their scene on a pull-out bed is disturbing. Julie Christie / 'Don't Look Now' it isn't ..)

As much a psychological thrust and parry between the two leads as the hunt for a furtive killer, 'Klute' flicks many tenebrous human connection/conflict switches. Pakula artfully inverts the previous two decade's bland-but-popular urban rom-coms, Rock Hudson/Doris Day et al. Redefining the 'unlikely relationship' theme and juxtaposing it with a starker, gloomier reality, tho not without humour - dark as it is - to splendid deconstructive effect.

One of the best American films of the 7o's.
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on 23 August 2015
What can I say? The video quality is abysmal - about what you might expect of a pirated disc. Added to that the display area is scaled to (on my system) about a quarter of the available area. And it's really irritating to have to keep turning off the Castellan subtitles (and sometimes audio!) - I suppose I shouldn't be too pained at that considering it's on the website as clearly the Spanish release.

But when you watch it, the fuzzy video melts away, the audio is better than many from the time, and what you are left with is one of the gems of post-war 20th century cinema. From the luminous performances of the leads to the little jewels of the druggie couple the acting and casting were superb. OK, Donald Sutherland's style was so underplayed that he never got an Oscar nomination, but just watch him - you feel (at least I do!) the emotions (pain, protectiveness) he feels towards this city girl who has suddenly been thrown into his universe. He deserved more from this.

I could question the directing - the pace seemed a little dragged out in parts, but that's probably just because we now only have ten minutes to get to the next ad break. I would debate the decision to reveal the villain so early in the narrative, but it's a judgement call, and again maybe we don't any longer have the capacity to store that plot point until the dénoument!

So, yes, given that this is the only way (Aug 2015) to get a playable copy of this treasure of cinema history - 5 stars clear.
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on 20 July 2017
I found this film had a balance. Not glamourising Prostitution, instead showing various aspects of the work. The dangers, isolation and loneliness, and to survive a level of independence/detachment is required..at a cost. Jane Fonda played the part well in one way detaching to work the 'role' and yet having regular visits to an analyst to maybe connect for a while with herself. Good film...thank you.
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on 29 March 2012
Firstly, this Spanish import DVD has the picture quality of a VHS. Secondly, by default you get a dubbed into Spanish version. By choosing the second option, it's in original English but complete with Spanish subtitles, thankfully under the widescreen picture, so they don't impose too much.

However, this is a rare film, one I saw on TV years ago but not been able to find on DVD as a region 2; until now. Here goes:

Anyone, on reading that Klute is a seedy film about a hooker and is expecting tons of nudity and eroticism have got the wrong movie. This is a psychological thriller, the deep, dark sort that Donald Sutherland (as private detective John Klute) was so good at in the early '70s. Jane Fonda, as that New York call girl is restrained, confident and quietly seductive and prefers to keep work separate from pleasure.

Klute turns up on her doorstep out of the blue looking for leads on a missing man. A man who might have been a client of hers. It's Klute's only lead and won't leave it alone. When he questions her on her "activities" she calls him a hypocrite and starts to wonder what makes this man tick, sexually....

It then becomes all too apparent that this missing man was known by some other men, some with not-very-nice intentions and want to shut her up. Permanently. With her relying on John Klute more and more, can her work ethic or not getting emotionally involved with her men hold?

Apparently, Barbara Streisand turned down the role of Bree Daniels but Fonda agreed, who won an Oscar for her efforts whilst director Alan J Pakula lays out an eery, moody piece, slowly drawing us in, unassumedly. The sparse, atmospheric music by Michael Small adds enormously to the overall feeling and Godfather's cinematographer Gordon Willis paints a suitably seedy picture.

Back, almost 40 years ago, there weren't too many films, certificate 18, or otherwise, that openly and without embarrassment discussed the lives of call girls, very much unlike now. That loose dialogue is available after the watershed on any mainstream TV channel today. I'm sure many professional men, the sort that she satisfies in the film would have gone to the movie theatre seeing it as a blue thrill flick. Whether they did or not, would have (hopefully) got over that pretty quickly and found themselves watching a really good thriller.

Finally, I have to ask as to when Klute will be reissued as a proper release. This film deserves much more than this expensive, muddy-looking version with Spanish subtitles rolling along underneath!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 January 2015
Alan Pakula’s 1971 film was one of a number of the period (of heightened US political concerns – Vietnam, Watergate, etc) dealing with paranoia and conspiracy – Pakula’s follow-up films in his ‘paranoia trilogy’, The Parallax View and All The President’s Men and Coppola’s The Conversation, being particularly notable examples. Pakula’s deceptively understated (almost easy-going) style again works well in Klute, as an industrial executive goes missing and Donald Sutherland’s friend of the family and detective John Klute attempts to unearth the mystery, starting with a connection to Jane Fonda’s ‘up market’ New York call-girl, Bree Daniels.

For me, Pakula’s film pretty much starts and ends with Fonda’s Oscar-winning and (alongside the likes of The China Syndrome and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?) career-best performance. Daniels provides Fonda with the sort of role that actresses no doubt cry out for (but rarely get) – a complex mix of, outwardly, smart-talking, confident (playful, seductive and hilariously matter-of-fact in her 'professional’ life) and, inwardly, insecure (attending a 'shrink’), chronically dispassionate and looking to change ‘careers’ – and the actress delivers with a performance of great emotional range. Sutherland is also good, if perhaps a little too understated, whilst elsewhere Charles Cioffi is particularly impresses as the deceased’s erstwhile work colleague, the shady, paranoid Peter Cable and Roy Scheider puts in a solid turn as Daniel’s ex-pimp, the coolly sleazy Frank Ligourin. Pakula (and cinematographer Gordon Willis) also capture the era nicely – this is a time of 'squares’, flares, kipper ties and dodgy disco dancing, as well as increasingly casual drug use (uncompromisingly presented).

For me, Pakula’s signposting of the plot detracts slightly from the gradual build-up of tension, but Fonda’s delivery of the film’s brilliant denouement scene (one of which Hitchcock would have been proud) is simply stunning and crowns a very fine performance indeed.
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on 9 August 2015
Klute is one of Pakula's masterpiece from his 70s filmography. This director, although making films that became quite famous, was never enough considered as much as other famous directors of his time. Yet, by watching his films now, you can tell he was one the best and most interesting, showing a style that after 40 years is still unique and ahead of his time. His use of all cinema aspects and assets (a geometric visual style, an abstract photography, a smart use of sound and an editing style that never shows of, often keeps the pace slow and works on long shot as well as on "off-beat" cuts) to always give a sense of alienation, detachment, unease state of mind and a silent yet dramatic disorientation that involve characters as well as viewers. Watching his films when I was younger (this + Parallax View and All the President's men) I didn't get how great he was but not, as I got a little more expert about films and can tell the difference between showing off direction and a (not)narrative one, I really appreciate him. Klute is a director's film as well as an actors' one. The 2 main actors are really great (maybe it's Fonda's best performance) and for the same reason Pakula does a great job: because they don't overact. It's a strange and original attempt to make a noir film about the dark and disoriented 70s America, and it reminds me, somehow, of a not so different film, maybe Coppola's masterpiece, "The Conversation".
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VINE VOICEon 15 January 2013
I first saw this perhaps 25 years ago, and my recollection was of a powerful and at times shocking film. All these years later, and bearing in mind the film was made 40 years ago, it still shocks. Most remarkable is Jane Fonda's performance. Made at her commercial and critical peak, it's a very challenging role that she inhabits convincingly. It's no surprise that she received an Oscar for her performance, and I suspect she would do so today. It's quite an astonishing performance, particularly at the climax of the film. The direction, constantly focussing on the actors faces, leaves no room for margin and exposes all the emotions. All other aspects of the film are exceptional; the direction, the story, all the lead performances, and the many pschological layers on which the film operates. Anyone who enjoys quality films should see this at least once.
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on 12 May 2002
Klute is more than good. Good films make you say to yourself “That was clever” or “Gee, I didn’t expect that”. Klute is a different animal; it is more involving and gets under your skin. It is a personal film. Maybe it’s just me but I really felt something after I watched it.
Klute is the last name of a detective (Sutherland) who is searching for a missing man. Much of the story focuses on a call girl named Bree (Fonda) the last person to see the missing person alive. The film explores the dark side of male sexual fantasy and effects on women which are involved in them. It is not a guilty pleasure movie or a heavy handed melodrama. It is a wonderfully mature, sensitive, subtle film which shows its subject matter in an honest light.
It is a unique film. A film that, in its own way, is so perfect. I could talk about how it was shot and the wonderful use of sound but I won’t. Klute is more than good, it is film to relate to, and treats its audience with considerable respect. It is movie which makes you feel something.
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on 8 March 2017
Jane Fonda is fantastic
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 November 2013
This great classic is an interesting watch, but it is also a very, very strange film, hard to rate and even more difficult to categorize. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

John Klute (Donald Sutherland) is a private detective based in the good town of Tuscarora, PA. Recently, an old friend of his, Tom Gruneman, disappeared without a trace during a business trip to New York and the police was unable to find him. Tom's wife Holly and his business partner, Peter Cable, hire Klute to find him. It seems to be a very difficult investigation, considering that the only lead is a letter which Tom supposedly addressed to an expensive call girl named Bree Daniel (Jane Fonda) - or this woman is absolutely uncooperative and initially refuses even to talk to Klute...

As I already mentioned, this film is very hard to categorize. It begins like a kind of neo-film noir, but then quickly turns rather into a kind of psychological drama mixed with soft porn. And even if the criminal mystery retains its importance to the end, it is the relationship between Klute and Bree that is the central element of the film. Also, the title is, maybe on purpose, confusing, as it appears quite quickly that it is not Klute but Bree who is the real main character of the film.

The character of Bree is somehow disturbing. She is an extremely attractive woman per se, but the way she talks and the things she says add even more to the already explosive melange - in fact, she is an almost perfect temptress. With her looks and wits she could very easily abandon prostitution and become the trophy wife of some obscenely rich guy - but it seems that for her turning tricks is a kind of compulsion. This obsessional need felt by Bree to sell herself, sometimes in fact rather cheap if it is a slow day, is a rather disturbing thing and it makes the watching of this film by moments slightly uncomfortable. Clearly, somebody one day damaged this incredibly beautiful woman so badly, that it seems doubtful that she can ever recover.

Klute is clearly also damaged goods, although he is without a doubt a redoubtable and efficient investigator, certainly too good for the relatively little town from which he comes. But his relations with people and especially with women are DEFINITELY not easy and comfortable. Therefore, this film is mostly about two very different, very badly scarred and damaged and very, very insecure and suspicious people who engage in long, slow and complicated seduction/rejection dance, with a mixture of care and dare which made me think of a mating ritual between two badly wounded porcupines...)))

It is a strange, even weird film, with a unique, unsettling atmosphere and some pretty steamy scenes and Jane Fonda very deservedly got an Oscar for this role - although her backless dress certainly helped her a lot in it...)))

I am ultimately rather glad that I finally discovered this movie and I think I will keep the DVD for a possible another watching - but it will not be before some time. This is not exactly a film you want to re-watch more than once a couple of years.
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