The Parallax View (1974)
July 21, 2017 9:07 PM - Subscribe

The Parallax View, directed by Alan J. Pakula, stars Warren Beatty as a reporter who unearths evidence of a massive conspiracy to assassinate political figures, the work of the sinister Parallax Corporation. It’s part of a wave of similarly paranoid thrillers that swept through movie theaters in the 1970s in response to post-1968 disillusionment and the bona fide conspiracy of Watergate: Pakula’s All the President’s Men, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation, Sydney Pollack’s Three Days of the Condor, and many more.
posted by growabrain (10 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Just rewatched this a couple of years ago and was amazed at how bleak a big hollywood film could be in the '70s.
posted by octothorpe at 8:13 AM on July 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

This one gets overlooked a lot for some reason. It's well worth a look. I've seen it pop up on TCM before.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:38 PM on July 22, 2017

Paranoid thrillers were big in the '70s.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:37 PM on July 23, 2017

I finally saw this movie several weeks ago and enjoyed it. Random thoughts:
  • Wonder if there's any kernel of truth to the testing? The underlying idea seems plausible.
  • Wow, in 1974 you could board an airliner first and then pay your fare on the plane, like trains used to be.
  • How small is this newspaper that Hume Cronyn's running? Small office and only a couple people at any one time.
  • Some of the music reminded me of All the President's Men so much that I looked up the composer -- but it was two different people. Maybe that was just Pakula's taste in music.
  • Trivia: The deputy (Earl Hindman) who picks the bar fight with Beatty played Tim Allen's perpetually half-hidden neighbor on Home Improvement nearly 20 years later. I recognized his name and confirmed it with IMDb.
Of the nine movies listed in kirkarcha's link, I've seen eight, and enjoyed them all. (Haven't gotten to The Anderson Tapes yet.) Clearly a genre that appeals to me. Any other good suggestions for it?
posted by pmurray63 at 9:58 PM on July 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

pmurray63, Enemy of the state is "The Conversation Part 2"...
posted by growabrain at 9:48 AM on July 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ah yes, I saw that one in the theater. (I actually saw them in reverse order.) I don't remember it all that well, other than I liked it, so it might be time for a rewatch. Thanks for the reminder.
posted by pmurray63 at 4:50 PM on July 26, 2017

Wait. So it's not the film version of the Slavoj Zizek book?
posted by ian1977 at 9:30 PM on July 28, 2017

Seeing as his book was written thirty years later, probably not.
posted by octothorpe at 9:46 PM on July 28, 2017

I watch this pretty much annually and there's still some cuts that lose me. I don't know if it's intentional fuckery to add a frenetic edge, but at the very least the "there ain't no Buster" exchange at the dam seems glitchy to me, like something got messed up in production. The context-free jump from the Parallax offices to the convention center also evaded me for years. The Salmontail excursion also seemed like a meaningless aside to me until recently.

Still a great one, though, but I still have about four to tackle from the kirkaracha list. Andromeda Strain doesn't seem like it belongs though, I always think of it more like Shyamalan's "The Happening."
posted by rhizome at 7:38 PM on July 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

From a previous FPP post, a commentator made a point about THAT sequence which I felt stupid for never thinking about before:

Of course it wasn't really any kind of testing or brainwashing at all, but simply set decoration for what they wanted Joe Frady to think. After all, after passing the test and resisting some very obvious brainwashing a reporter would think he was pretty darn smart. The Parallax Corporation is of course way too subtle for such ham handed antics.

posted by Gin and Broadband at 7:52 AM on July 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

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