"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... more » 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.DVD Features:
"From the opening frame to the closing shot, "Klute" is a compelling, adult thriller and character study. It seems to get better with every viewing. When Pennsylvania business executive and family man Tom Grunemann goes missing, friend and detective John Klute (Donald Sutherland) agrees to take on the case. His only clue is prostitute Bree Daniels (Jane Fonda) in New York who was associated with a prostitute Grunemann had known and who is at the brunt of harassment calls possibly from Grunemann. As Klute watches Bree, the killer is watching. Although Bree is struggling to leave "the life" (aspiring to act), she is simultaneously drawn to the money, autonomy and emotional control it provides. Klute is brought deeper into Bree's world of prostitution, paranoia and drugs and unexpectedly he penetrates her emotional walls.
"Klute" is definitely Jane Fonda's showcase and she is fantastic, netting the Oscar that year against the odds. This may have been her "breakout" role at a time when she was notoriously unpopular because of her involvement in Hanoi, but she has turned in numerous fine performances over the years in films ranging from "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" to "On Golden Pond." As Bree Daniels, she has a complex character who, as she attests, had some college, and who is vulnerable yet acerbic, impenetrable yet exposed. Whether speaking with her therapist, walking jauntily down the street or turning a trick, Bree as embodied by Fonda is fascinating to watch.
Some mention that the "thriller part" is weak because you know the identity of the killer. I would disagree. Knowing the identity of the killer is part of the suspense. In this claustrophobic world of shadowy stalkers and anonymity, it's like knowing the bomb is under the table, as Hitchcock once said. The claustrophobia and isolation also are deeply reflective of both New York and the character of Bree Daniels, revealing the irony of her "freedom." Surveillance tapes also figure largely in this film and were a big thing in the 70's. They would also figure largely in Watergate.
Aside from Fonda and Sutherland, the supporting players (including Roy Scheider and Jean Stapleton) perfectly embody their roles and add to the authenticity, and there is also a great tingly soundtrack by Michael Small. It's one of the finest films to come out of the 70's. I also get a kick out of seeing Fonda reading "Linda Goodman's Sun Signs" which was a rage in the 70's. Let it all hang out, baby! "
Scott Balikian | Seattle, WA United States | 09/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Oh come on, any movie where Roy Scheider plays a PIMP is good in my book! Actually, I tend to rent these older films and then take a couple weeks before I watch them. I was a bit reluctant heading in to Klute, but was hooked from the opening credits. I think I liked the same things that people disliked about it. There is a certain uncomfortable weirdness that permeates through this film, that was not in the least bit accidental. Donald Sutherland plays his part to the hilt! I loved those scenes where he wouldn't say anything at all. I get the impression, that we are so used to a certain style of dective films these days (lots of acrobatics and explosions and shooting) that we fail to appreciate subtle films such as this. I've never been a fan of Jane Fonda. I've really had no impression of her whatsoever. This film, however, really changed that. She was FULLY deserving of her Oscar for this role.Anyway, I highly recommend this film. Buy it. Now!"
Klute comes to DVD
jake whatley | Texas | 02/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Klute represents the seventies rebirth in films as directors took charge and the studio system diminished. A gritty, psychological exploration into character, form and space, Klute remains one of the best this genre has to offer. Note Pakula's attention and utilization of space and subtext. It also represents one of the finest performances of any actress from that time period. Jane Fonda's untouchable in this film. The levels she develops in this role are amazing. A reviewer questioned the Irish accent she uses while auditioning to play Joan of Arc in a play. In answer to that, Klute was filmed when Irish actress Siobhan MacKenna was receiving praise for her performances (including, yes, one as Joan of Arc onstage utilizing an Irish accent).
This DVD is a solid transfer. I would have bought it in pan and scan just to have it for my collection but thank God it's in letterbox. I would have liked it if the credits had allowed a more complete listing for Jane Fonda & Donald Sutherland's filmography (Alan J. Pakula and others credited don't get filmographies). I also would have loved if this edition had a commentary track. (Pakula is deceased but they still could have gotten Fonda & Sutherland to do a commentary track.) That said, the documentary on the filming (which is really more of a promotional film) was interesting to watch. The trailer offers historical insight. I first saw Klute, many years after it's release, on television. I'd never seen the trailer but often wondered how the studio sold this film to the public. In cookie cutter fashion: an indepth exploration of soul, mood and character gets reduced to a check list of sex, drugs and thrills.
The film remains one of the best to come out of the seventies and a wonderful addition to any DVD collection."
If you think Jane Fonda Can't Act.....
carol irvin | United States | 04/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've met a lot of people who don't think Jane Fonda can act. This is one of the Fonda films I tell them to watch upon hearing this, followed closely by "Coming Home" and "Julia." Frankly, upon seeing these films, I thought she had more talent than Dad Henry or brother Peter or niece Bridget (the dna for acting ability must be very strong in this family). Fonda plays Bree Daniels, a prostitute in 1970s New York City, and you see every gritty detail of her handling her profession. Making her life more dangerous is that she is threatened by a stalker/serial murderer (this villain role was not overdone at the time this film was made in the early '70s). This film does not glamourize prostitution which so many later films have attempted to do. One thing you will notice right away is how distinctive her voice is in this film and I've come to notice that most of the great actresses have these fabulous screen voices. The late Alan J. Pakula directed the film. He was an extremely talented writer-director-producer whose work I've missed since his passing. Donald Sutherland is a detective who comes into the stalking case and he does a very solid job throughout including kindling some romantic interest with the Fonda character (they did have a real life affair during the making of the film so the chemistry between them really works). However, it is Fonda who dominates the film from start to finish since this is Bree Daniels's story."
Unforgettable and Blows You AWAY!!!!!!
angel baby | california | 12/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've watched Klute about 6 to 7 years ago and to this day it is the most memorable film I've ever watched. The film is beautifully shot and the grittiness of 70's New York is amazing. Of course there is the acting and Jane Fonda blows away any contemporary actress today and maybe even tomorrow.
Every scene she is in completely different from the last, the beginning scene where she looks at her watch when with a trick has become a film classic. Also, the scene in the garment factory with Mr. Goldfarb was incredibly hypnotizing and seductive, let's not forget the scenes in her psychiatrist's office, or auditioning for Joan of Arc in a brogue accent. It is beyond comprehension that any of the actresses in the year she won the Academy Award stood a chance in besting her.
Last but not least the soundtrack!!! The song "take it higher" that played when she escaped to the disco looking for her pimp was beyond funkaahhh!! Let's be honest folks they don't make movies like this anymore, totally based on nuance and intelligence."