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Cutter's Way Movie Review

film passer bone noir

Cutter's Way, by Ivan Passer, was quickly identified as new-age film noir by the few people who actually saw it during its original 1981 run. It is not, however, the comfortable sort of film noir which makes it easy for you to go willingly wherever the hero wants to take you. Cutter's Way is an intensely uncomfortable film to watch and there are no heroes anywhere in sight, just three ragged people who stumble on a brutal murder. In 1981, John Heard had the talent and drive to become one of the major actors of his generation. He didn't quite make it, but at least he got the chance to sink his teeth into the meaty role of Cutter, a crippled vet who hates the world for many good reasons. The perennially underrated Jeff Bridges slid into the role of Cutter's best friend Bone with his usual skill, and Lisa Eichhorn portrayed Cutter's bitter wife (and Bone's occasional bed partner). Their amateur murder investigation is conducted with rage and with plenty of mistakes made along the way. Cutter's Way was a pioneering noir effort of the ‘80s, not as atmospheric as the enormously successful Body Heat, also released in 1981, nor as likable as 1987's The Big Heat. Passer's film was an interesting study of three seedy low lifes mustering the conviction to clash with a corrupt and powerful killer in sunny Santa Barbara. AKA: Cutter and Bone.

1981 (R) 105m/C Jeff Bridges, John Heard, Lisa Eichhorn, Ann Dusenberry, Stephen Elliott, Nina Van Pallandt, George Dickerson; D: Ivan Passer; W: Jeffrey Alladin Fiskin; C: Jordan Cronenweth; M: Jack Nitzsche. VHS, LV

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