Entertainment Weekly - 02/02/2002
"...[A] beautifully observed romance/thriller..."
Premiere - 11/01/2005
"KLUTE is more of a character study, seemingly about Fonda herself..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
"I love inhibitions because they're so nice to get rid of," New York call girl Bree Daniels says. Her ordered life will soon veer wildly out of control. The man hearing her taped voice has gone far beyond inhibitions. He's a killer. As detective John Klute, Donald Sutherland gives a cool performance devoid of screen sleuth cliches. And Jane Fonda makes Bree a shattering tour-de-force.
An intense suspense thriller with a haunting soundtrack, KLUTE is the first part of what director Alan Pakula described as his "paranoid trilogy." This is an appropriate summation of film subjects at the time: Jane Fonda's landmark performance as Bree Daniels was filled with nuances that personified the fears and tensions of urban life.
The story follows rural Pennsylvania private eye John Klute (Donald Sutherland), who is investigating the disappearance of his friend Tom Gruneman. Klute's only lead points him to a Manhattan call girl named Bree Daniels (Fonda), who is being stalked by an obsessed john. Shot on location in New York City, the film is both an intriguing and intelligently adult suspense film and a showcase for Fonda, who won an Academy Award for her role.
Adapting the traditional structure of 1940s film noir detective movies, director Alan Pakula created a thriller that addressed the 1970s issue of the compromises faced by a woman trying to maintain her freedom. Gloomy and stark, the film tracks Bree Daniels (Jane Fonda), a Manhattan prostitute and aspiring actress in search of herself. Small-town private eye John Klute (Donald Sutherland) arrives in Manhattan to find that Bree is the only lead in the disappearance of his good friend Tom Gruneman. Bree turns tricks for cash and a need for emotional freedom, wishing to remain unattached and in control. However, as she becomes involved in Klute's search and realizes she too is in danger, she also surprises herself by falling in love. Gordon Willis's (THE GODFATHER) cinematography provides a shadowy and claustrophobic atmosphere in which tapped phones and shadowy stalkers abound.
Shot on location in New York City, Pakula's team used a studio on 127th Street in Harlem as its base of operations.
The disco scene was shot in an abandoned West Side church.
In an interview, Alan Pakula said Jane Fonda wanted to quit the picture before shooting because she thought she wasn't good enough for the role. Pakula convinced her to stay, and she channeled her nervousness into a performance that earned her a Best Actress Oscar.
The screenplay for KLUTE was nominated for a Screen Award by the Writers Guild (WGA).
Pakula liked to call KLUTE, THE PARALLAX VIEW, and ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN his "paranoid trilogy."
"Don't feel bad about losing your virtue. I sort of knew you would; everybody always does."--Bree Daniels (Jane Fonda)
"Inhibitions are always so nice because they're so nice to overcome."--Bree