Adapting the traditional structure of 1940s film noir detective movies, director Alan Pakula created a thriller that addressed the 1970s issue of the compromises faced by a woman trying to maintain her freedom. Gloomy and stark, the film tracks Bree Daniels (Jane Fonda), a Manhattan prostitute and aspiring actress in search of herself. Small-town private eye John Klute (Donald Sutherland) arrives in Manhattan to find that Bree is the only lead in the disappearance of his good friend Tom Gruneman. Bree turns tricks for cash and a need for emotional freedom, wishing to remain unattached and in control. However, as she becomes involved in Klute's search and realizes she too is in danger, she also surprises herself by falling in love. Gordon Willis's (THE GODFATHER) cinematography provides a shadowy and claustrophobic atmosphere in which tapped phones and shadowy stalkers abound.
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