The Parallax View



(Alan J. Pakula, 1974)

Political conspiracy thriller that owes a ton to The Manchurian Candidate. It’s also a product of the turmoil and violence of the late 60s/early 70s which echoes the era’s mistrust and dissatisfaction of the American government.

Reporter Warren Beatty gets pulled into intrigue, murder and some of the most unpredictable and totally preposterous situations I can recall. Let’s just say there’s a brainwashing sequence that rivals Clockwork Orange‘s Ludivico Treatment, and just enough random explosions, drownings and shootings in famous locations to make you long for the freedom of 70s film and the awesome ridiculousness of it all.

Director Pakula knows how to create suspense and Beatty proves a perfect muse. Never been a huge Beatty fan, but he’s perfectly cast as a man over his head in danger. Perhaps I’ve underestimated him, but I’ve got to see more to be completely convinced of his talent or range. (And I don’t mean Bulworth.)

Parallax is a solid lead-in to Pakula’s next film — another conspiracy tale — the classic All the President’s Men. However, it’s also challenging, shocking and plenty of fun on its own.



Posted on April 2, 2009, in Film log and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Have you seen “Splendor in the Grass”? WB is good in that. (And, um, really tasty. RROWWWR!)

  2. Not yet. I’m pretty dumb about Beatty.

    Those I need to see:
    Bonnie and freakin Clyde (which I need to rectify)
    McCabe and Mrs. freakin Miller
    Splendor in the Grass

    Heaven Can Wait
    the aforementioned Bulworth
    Ishtar – because I enjoy torture

  3. See, my Warren Beatty conundrum is that I know he is (or was, anyway) a gold-plated douchenozzle in his personal life, but he was just so scorchingly hot in “Splendor” that I found myself drooling over him rather than being properly repulsed. I’m not proud.

    But in the immortal words of Janeane Garofalo (about George Clooney), “I’m not made of wood, people!”

    Although, hmm—his atrocious haircut in the still you posted from “Parallax” (which I haven’t seen) might help me get over his “Splendor”-era splendor…

  4. And he’s just so vain….

  5. Beatty was (is) gorgeous, long hair or short and actually a really nice guy in person. I had the pleasure of meeting him at several events and he is one of the most down to earth showbiz types I’ve ever known. Very self depreciating.

  6. Glad to hear it. My comment was in reference to the oft-repeated rumor of WB being the subject of Carly Simon’s legendary song. I would never think of calling him something beginning with douche- and ending with -ozzle. Really now, Alyssa…;)

    And if you are indeed Charlize Theron, um, that would be amazing. And I hope my will is in order, cause I might collapse dead with the news.

  7. LOL, No, not Charlize Theron I’m afraid, but probably her only namesake on the planet. She is the first person that I know of who has the same first name as I do!

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