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KLUTE | Dir. Alan J. Pakula | 1971 | 104 min

Informed in part by the conventions of film noir - duplicitious female, ambitious private investigator, and murky goings on of the sexual variety - Klute manages to distil them all into something highly original and distinctly unsettling.

Following the mysterious disappearance of his businessman friend, would-be private eye John Klute (Sutherland) is seconded into travelling to New York to search for his whereabouts. His chief lead is Bree Daniels (Fonda), a high class prostitute with whom the missing party was known to have corresponded. Though initially wary of each other - Daniels views Klute as just another man to manipulate - the two slowly form a bond of sorts when it becomes clear that a former client is stalking her.

Later to precipitate a string of paranoia-charged 70s thrillers (The Parallax View and All the President's Men) from the director, Klute still perhaps stands as Pakula's finest moment. Informed in part by the conventions of film noir - duplicitous female, ambitious private investigator, and murky goings on of the sexual variety - Klute manages to distill them all into something highly original and distinctly unsettling.

The taut sense of menace and urban claustrophobia is heightened by the performances. Fonda won an Oscar for her part as the independent woman twisted by emotional contradictions, while Sutherland - as the morally uptight guardian confused by the notion of dependency - more than matches her for intensity. Charles Cioffi and Roy Scheider offer strong support.  (via BBC Films)

Awards
Academy Awards, USA 1972 - Won (Oscar, Best Actress in a Leading Role | Jane Fonda), Nominated (Oscar, Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Published or Produced | Andy Lewis, David E. Lewis)
Golden Globes, USA 1972 - Won (Golden Globe, Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama | Jane Fonda), Nominated (Golden Globe, Best Screenplay - Motion Picture | Andy Lewis, David P. Lewis) 
BAFTA Awards 1972 - Nominated (BAFTA Film Award, Best Actress | Jane Fonda)
Edgar Allan Poe Awards 1972 - Nominated (Edgar, Best Motion Picture | Andy Lewis, David P. Lewis)
Fotogramas de Plata 1973 - Won (Fotogramas de Plata, Best Foreign Movie Performer (Mejor intérprete de cine extranjero) | Jane Fonda)
Gotham Awards 1999 - Won (Classic Film Tribute Award)
Image Awards 1971 - Won (Image Award, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture | Donald Sutherland, Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture | Jane Fonda)
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards 1971 - Won (KCFCC Award, Best Actress | Jane Fonda) 
National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA 1971 - Won (NSFC Award, Best Actress | Jane Fonda) 
New York Film Critics Circle Awards 1971 - Won (NYFCC Award, Best Actress | Jane Fonda)
Writers Guild of America, USA 1972 - Nominated (WGA Award (Screen), Best Drama Written Directly for the Screen | Andy Lewis, David P. Lewis)

Klute is the fourth selection in our SPOTLIGHT: WILLIS AND WEXLER series.