classified 15

1971: The Year Hollywood Went Independent


Please note: This was screened in July 2021

Alan J. Pakula
Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Charles Cioffi
114 mins, 1971, USA
Primary language

Alan J Pakula was perhaps one of the most inside of the outsiders. As a producer, he had critical and commercial form for his work with director Robert Mulligan including the multi award-winning To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). The move into directing for a Hollywood studio was a shoe in.

However, for Klute, his second film as director, the tone became darker and more conspiratorial, a theme that was to become his - and the country’s - trademark with The Parallax View (1974) and All the President’s Men (1976).

One, if not the, most striking thing about Klute is Jane Fonda’s portrait of the richly complex character of upmarket call girl Bree Daniels who becomes the centre of a missing-person investigation. Fonda was beginning to shift gear from her 60s starlet image to an actor of intensity and conviction on screen whilst off screen she was gaining a public reputation for political activism. A year after the release of Klute, for which she won the Best Actress Oscar®, she would very publicly and with long lasting controversy take her anti-Vietnam war stance to Hanoi.