Tightrope (1984)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Police Detective Film, Psychological Thriller  |   Release Date - Aug 17, 1984 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 114 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Brendon Hanley

Sort of a lurid variation on a Dirty Harry movie, Tightrope plumbs darker psycho-sexual depths than the usual mainstream detective film. In a particularly challenging role, Clint Eastwood plays the homicide detective who finds that his "deviant" sexual predilections mirror the ones of the serial killer he is chasing. As Dirty Harry, Eastwood helped to blur the lines between cop and criminal, but this sort of examination of perversity is somewhat unique to his career. Written and directed by the little-known Richard Tuggle (Escape from Alcatraz), the film eventually settles into a more standard crime movie scenario, but it's Eastwood work as the tortured policeman that keeps the film compelling. Cinematographer Bruce Surtees's sleazy vision of New Orleans completes the film's effect. Given its subject matter, Tightrope performed surprisingly well at the box-office.