Blu-Ray Review: Klute

It should probably come as no surprise to anyone but when people discuss the greatest actors of the 1960s and 1970s they almost always talk about men. Whilst the patriarchal system is still going strong, we’ve come a long way over the proceeding decades. Jane Fonda is a prime example of an actress not generally given the credit she deserves. Despite receiving Oscar-nominations for They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, The China Syndrome, Julia, Coming Home and Klute during this period, her work is often overlooked today. In Alan J. Pakula’s Klute, she arguably gives her best performance.

Tom Gruneman, a chemical company executive, has disappeared. The only clue is an obscene letter addressed to a New York prostitute, Bree Daniels (Fonda). After the police draw a blank, one of his colleagues, Peter Cable (Charles Cioffi), hires detective and family friend John Klute (Donald Sutherland) to investigate. Klute takes residence in her building, tapping her phone and trailing her movements.

Klute is a brooding, offbeat and ingenious murder mystery which uses the chemistry between the two leads to add to the drama. Fonda and Sutherland are a clever pairing. They spark off each other and embrace the unsettling atmosphere. Pakula digs deep into the well of paranoia to add layers and depth to the intrigue and fear. Klute is a tense psychological thriller which has great fun throwing the viewer off the scent.

Special features:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by camera operator Michael Chapman, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • New conversation between actors Jane Fonda and Illeana Douglas
  • New documentary about Klute and director Alan J. Pakula by filmmaker Matthew Miele, featuring scholars, filmmakers, and Pakula’s family and friends
  • The Look of Klute, a new interview with writer Amy Fine Collins
  • Archival interviews with Pakula and Fonda
  • “Klute” in New York, a short documentary made during the shooting of the film
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Mark Harris and excerpts from a 1972 interview with Pakula

Klute is released on Blu-ray by the Criterion Collection on 19 August.  

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