Klute (1971)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Detective Film, Post-Noir (Modern Noir)  |   Release Date - Jun 25, 1971 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 114 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Lucia Bozzola

With Gordon Willis' cinematography providing a shadowy and claustrophobic atmosphere, Alan J. Pakula adapts the conventions of 1940s film noir detective movies to examine the 1970s issue of the compromises faced by a woman trying maintain her freedom. Klute's air of stark gloom alludes to the pervasive personal conspiracies that put women at the mercy of a man's world; by the end, a crime may be solved, but the problem is not. Despite calls to boycott Jane Fonda's movies because of her anti-Vietnam War activism, Klute's timely subject matter found a substantial audience, firmly establishing Fonda as both a serious movie star and a feminist symbol. Her outspoken views did not prevent her from winning the Best Actress Oscar for the movie.