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84 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sly mystery isn't what it seems
Like "Chinatown" (the only contemporary mystery that I can compare it to), "Night Moves" has much more going on below the placid chilly surface of the water at the conclusion of the film than meets the eye.Ex-football player and private eye Harry (Gene Hackman)is hired to find the worldly daughter (Melaine Griffith in her second screen role at the tender age of 18)of a...
Published on July 15, 2005 by Wayne Klein

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good movie, unwatchable download
While I enjoyed this old Aurthur Penn and Gene Hackman movie, it is showing its age. Unfortunately, the print that Amazon is downloading is unwatchably bad, and I had to download it from iTunes at $3 higher price. I've notified Amazon of the problem, and perhaps they've corrected it.
Published on June 11, 2010 by Amazon Customer


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84 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sly mystery isn't what it seems, July 15, 2005
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This review is from: Night Moves (1975) (DVD)
Like "Chinatown" (the only contemporary mystery that I can compare it to), "Night Moves" has much more going on below the placid chilly surface of the water at the conclusion of the film than meets the eye.Ex-football player and private eye Harry (Gene Hackman)is hired to find the worldly daughter (Melaine Griffith in her second screen role at the tender age of 18)of a Hollywood socialite. Harry's wife (Susan Clark)feels ignored by her husband and resents his frequent absences and pursues an affair with another man complicating his placid existence. His pursuit of the girl opens up a pandora's box of murder, deceit and greed that he's completely unprepared for. Written by Alan Sharp, "Night Moves" incorporates elements from the novel "The Stunt Man" which director Arthur Penn was originally supposed to direct (he had to pull out to a prior commitment at the last minute)and features a number of marvelous suspenseful set pieces.

Well directed by Penn ("Little Big Man", "Bonnie & Clyde"), "Night Moves" is the same rancid world that Gittes faced in "Chinatown" only the players have changed but not the greed that drives those that commit the crimes. Hackman delivers one of his finest performances. Susan Clark and the rest of the supporting cast all turn in terrific performances adding to the gritty realism of the film.

I've seen a couple of complaints about how dark the video was for this film. Rest assured, "Night Moves" looks terrific. Warner has struck a brand new print of the film and given it the deluxe treatment. Colors are vibrant and bright throughout the film. There's no noticeable dirt or debris to mar the picture and only an occasional analog flaw that was on the original negative of the film. The film features the original vintage featurette produced to promote the film focusing on the moive "Night Moves" and director Arthur Penn's approach to film directing as well as the original theatrical trailer for the film.
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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tangled up in the Watergate-era Blues, December 6, 2001
By 
Doug Anderson (Miami Beach, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Night Moves [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Film-noir, cynical thriller, jaded mystery,... Night Moves is all those things. There were many conspiracy saturated films after Watergate but Penns film is perhaps even darker because it finds the seed of corruption in every aspect of American life . Everyone is in some way morally compromised and if not yet corrupt getting very near to being so. And they start young. A very young Melanie Griffith plays the runaway teen who seems perfectly capable of finding her way as well as getting her way and doesn't really need any finding. Gene Hackman plays the detective doing the family a favor. And James Woods plays what at first seems like a villainous role but there are no easy gradations in this film. Everything and everyone operates in their own grey area. There is no high ground.
The locations are perfectly chosen. L.A. and the Florida Keys each have a wonderfully seedy resonance in any film goers mind. The locations are wonderful surfaces which barely conceal the dirty secrets seething just below the water line. Hackman tracks Griffith from L.A. to the Keys and there encounters the very sexy drop out Jennifer Warren living in tropic squalor mixed up in the trafficking of all kinds of strange cargo. The plot is complex to describe but all is very competently put together into a flawlessly structured whole by the great Arthur Penn. The ending allows for no easy resolution and may have effected the way the film was intitially received but it is a gutsy exit. One of the great films of a great period in American cinema, the early 70's. Smuggle this film into your library.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars '70s Noir, July 15, 2005
By 
M. A Oberly (Columbus, Ohio USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Night Moves (1975) (DVD)
This is a relatively unknown film noir from the mid '70s, starring Gene Hackman as a former football player turned private eye who is obsessed by a chess game from the '20s, where one of the players missed a forced mate, and lost instead. He's hired by a wealthy former hollywood starlet to track down her daughter, which takes him to some of the seedier parts of the Florida Keys you'll ever see on film.

As is common in other noirs, just about everyone in this film is corrupt, even including Hackman's character himself, to a certain point. As noted by another reviewer, this movie will remind many of 'Chinatown'. In the end, just about everyone loses.

I have a copy of this on VHS, and I bought the DVD for the widescreen. I was impressed by the image quality of the DVD -- it's a little grainy, but overall, quite high quality. I don't think anyone's going to be very disappointed by the transfer, considering it's a mid '70s film. The only extras are some trailers, and a sort of short documentary on the director.

Hackman is terrific in this, as he is in most of his other films. He can play genial one moment, and a moment later play cynical and tough. It's too bad he didn't get another opportunity at another role like this. Unfortunately, they don't really make films like this anymore.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Arthur Penn/Gene Hackman Mystery, With A Violent, Poignant Ending, February 20, 2006
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Night Moves (1975) (DVD)
Harry Moseby is a private investigator with a marriage that's falling apart and an unwillingness to deal with his own personal issues. He used to play pro ball for Oakland; now he gets by with divorce work. He likes to solve chess problems. He's smarter than you think. One day he gets a call from a friend who says he's got a case for Harry. A 16-year-old girl, daughter of an alcoholic former small-time movie star and a deceased Hollywood mogul, has run away. Harry tracks the teenager down to an island off Florida and the home of her stepfather, Tom Iverson. Iverson and his wife, Paula, run a small charter boat operation. The days are filled with hot sunshine. The nights with puzzles and temptations. Harry intends to return the girl to her mother, but lands up to his eyes in murder, Hollywood stunt men, stolen Mexican artifacts and emotional betrayal.

Night Moves stars Gene Hackman as Moseby. It's one of his best roles. Arthur Penn directed and I'd put it up there with Penn's best. Several things make this movie so good. First is the coherence of a complicated story. At times Moseby is a step or two ahead of us. Some times we're a step or two ahead of Moseby. The solution, however, comes as a logical but surprising revelation to both Moseby and us. All the elements were there if we'd only noticed them. Penn's direction keeps us engrossed in the story and in the action. Even when Moseby is dealing with his wife who is having an affair, in part because of Moseby's own emotional distance, Penn keeps us involved and looking forward to the next part of the story.

Equally important, Night Moves features some first rate actors whom we believe in as their characters. After Hackman is Jennifer Warren as Paula Iverson, a complicated mixture of honesty and evasion. Paula is edgy, with a quick mouth and ping pong talk. She looks straight at you when she challenges you. Edward Binns as an aging stuntman gives another fine performance. He's tired, experienced and has seen it all. Melanie Griffith as Delly, the run-away sex nymphet, gives an excellent performance in her first billed role. She was 18 when she made the movie. Strong performances also are given by John Crawford as Tom Iverson, Janet Ward as Delly's usually drunk mother who is dependent on Delly's trust fund, Susan Clark as Harry's wife, Harris Yulin as her lover and James Woods as a repellant mechanic.

The movie steadily builds tension and interest as Harry tracks Delly down and meets Paula and Tom Iverson. Then one night Paula takes Delly for a late night swim and Harry decides to tag along. Delly strips off and dives in nude while Harry looks uncomfortable and Paula just smiles. Then Delly comes up screaming. Paula turns on the underwater lights and they peer through the glass bottom. Not too far down in the water they can see the remains of a small plane. In the cabin, fish are still nibbling at what's left of the pilot's face. At this point the movie picks up a lot of steam, with Harry determined to find out what's going on. The end of the movie is violent and surprisingly poignant. Night Moves is a movie worth having.

The DVD transfer looks just fine, maybe a little soft. There is one light-weight extra called The Day of the Director about Penn. It didn't seem worth sitting through.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dynamic duo, December 20, 2000
By 
D. Hartley (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Night Moves [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This outstanding, largely ignored 1975 film noir re-united star Gene Hackman and director Arthur Penn for the first time since 1967's "Bonnie And Clyde" (they also worked together on 1985's "Target"). Hackman gives one of his career-best performances as a world weary P.I. who gets mixed up in a case of battling ex-spouses that quickly descends into the sludgier depths of incest,smuggling and murder. In the meantime,Hackman's own marriage is floundering, and the script cleverly parallels this disintegration with the layers of deception and corruption exposed as he peels away the mystery of his case. The excellent supporting cast includes a very young Melanie Griffith, James Woods and Jennifer Warren. The film features an excellent jazz soundtrack (a vocal version of the haunting title theme appears on Michael Frank's "Art Of Tea" album). Intelligent, adult entertainment.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth your time, March 2, 2006
This review is from: Night Moves (1975) (DVD)
Early Hackman, REALLY early Melanie Griffith. Cohesive, provocative script that will stand you in good stead for repeated viewing. Interesting photography, particularly the underwater shots. With Hackman one expects excellent acting and you will not be disappointed in any of the cast. The nude scenes are beautifully done, not blatant and fall naturally into the storyline.

Good, solid, well-done film. The director is to be complimented.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Night Moves, September 6, 2005
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This review is from: Night Moves (1975) (DVD)
The revered private eye film gets updated to the 1970s at the expert hands of director Arthur Penn. Hackman is tailor-made for Moseby, a regular guy who once played football, and who's much better at snooping on others than figuring out his own disordered life. Young Melanie is terrific as the teenage temptress, and look for James Woods in an early role as Delly's good-for-nothing boyfriend Quentin. A vastly under-rated whodunit.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent, July 18, 2009
This review is from: Night Moves (1975) (DVD)
Poor Harry Mosby, retired Oakland Raider turned detective. His father left him when he was a little kid. All these years later, he finds out his wife is cheating.

To get away from family problems, he flies from Los Angeles to Florida to look for the missing teen daughter of a haggard Hollywood starlet. He finds the permiscuous girl, has an affair with the women taking care of her, and meanwhile, uncovers a smuggling ring.

All of this is done in Night Moves 70s style. Fimled in 1973, the dialouge in the film has the sharp, hip momentum. Sex is now out in the open, and the middle class is absorbing a new cultural attitude. Even the straight charactors do and they say things that they never would have in 1969. Watergate was in full swing. People knew the rules had changed, and were not changing back.

If your into period style, yes, everybody is walking around with thick moustaches, sideburns, turtlenecks and blazers. Going one better, the entire score of the film is done on a Fender Rhodes electric panio.

But it is Gene Hackman's Mosby who makes Night Moves. He is a gentle giant. He only strikes when attacked, shown by his refusal to hit his wife's lover, or her when she is unrepentant about her daliance. The teenage girl he is looking for, and locates, comes on to him, but he does not accept her advances. He, however, does give her fatherly comfort when she has a nightmare. The hurt kid in Mosby connects with the hurt kid he finds.

Mosby is smart, and knows deep down that he is capable of more than the work he does. But he is trapped by a relentless impulse to track people down--people who he displaces for his father.He is always intent on the truth, except when it comes to facing his emotions. When he gets to the bottom of things, he never likes what he discovers. His behvaior reveals his sweet,wounded character.

Hackman is perfect at this and the rest of the cast are also perfect. But the film isn't. The most dynamic drama in Night Moves occurs in LA, particually between Harry and his wife. His sojurn to Florida changes the visual and dramatic texture of the film. The sequence there is long, and the screws of the film loosen just when they should tighten. Keeping the action close to home would have been a plausealbe option--who said the missing girl had to be across the country? It would have been more dramatic to keep all the events of the film in a small space, and keep the tention between the Mosbys cooking.

Still, this has some great acting and works as a period piece. Well worth seeing.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sam Spade in the 70's., February 8, 2006
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This review is from: Night Moves (1975) (DVD)
Harry is a private detective, that dying breed of men romantically personified in the great film Noir's of the 1940's. But the days of film Noir are long past. "Real Men" have been replaced by "sensitive" guys in touch with their feelings who watch Eric Rohmer films. "I saw a Rohmer film once; it was kind of like watching paint dry." But the romantic illusion of the private eye is becoming difficult to maintain as his assignments are becoming more and more benign, like his latest gig: tracking down the 16 year old daughter of an aging movie actress. On the home front, Harry's life is unraveling when he finds out that his wife if having an affair with one of those "sensitive" types. When he confronts the man in the old school manner he is mocked "Take a swing at me Harry the way Sam spade would." Harry is haunted by the defeat of the reigning chess champion from the 1920's who lost when the challenger surprised him with three Knight moves. He was never able to overcome the loss. Not wanting to fall into the same trap, Harry replays the game again and again but just when he thinks he's got it all figured out, he realizes he's only been going in circles. He's been trying to solve the same mystery his entire carreer but never understood the assignment: Who's Harry Moseby?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Detective flicks!, September 18, 2000
By 
"skipmccoy" (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Night Moves [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Yes, this film really is one of the the single best detective genre films ever made. Arthur Penn did a heck of a job with this marvel and I think it's my favorite of all his films(and there's a lot of good stuff there). Hackman is superb here. This is just one of those movies that you finishing watching and you just want to watch it again right away. I can't say enough good things about it, so I'll quit here by saying that it's a gaping whole in any detective/noir fan's collection waiting to be filled.
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Night Moves (1975)
Night Moves (1975) by Arthur Penn (DVD - 2010)
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