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The Parallax View

153 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The Parallax View

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Warren Beatty, Paula Prentiss, William Daniels, Walter McGinn, Hume Cronyn
  • Directors: Alan J. Pakula
  • Writers: David Giler, Loren Singer, Lorenzo Semple Jr., Robert Towne
  • Producers: Alan J. Pakula, Charles H. Maguire, Gabriel Katzka
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: June 22, 1999
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000IRE9
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,182 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Parallax View" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Mad Dog on January 17, 2002
Format: DVD
Beatty plays journalist investigating mysterious deaths of witnesses to a political assassination.
Pakula's dark and paranoid masterpiece was origninally shot by Gordon Willis (Godfathers I II and III, Klute, Zeilig, etc.) in 2.35 aspect. Willis, a master of light and composition, developed frames for this film that are practically abstract. His sense of composition (I'm sure Pakula was part of this) is brilliant: the static formalistic compositions; the use of long lenses to flatten each image into an (almost) isometric projection.
Now, maybe I'm getting carried away here, but "parallax" and "isometric"...? Hmmm... Both are terms related to geometry the "perception" of reality -- which is more-or-less the subtext of this film.
Anyway, after its dissapearance from theater screens this film made numerous appearances on TV (mainly late at night) in a pan-and-scan version. Same with the VHS version. So until the DVD was released, this was the only way I (and most other people) had seen it.
Well twice the frame is twice as good -- now entire sequences can be re-examined and reinterpreted (the ending has elements which appeared seperated in the VHS version).
I found the picture and sound to be good, but I'd hoped for more additional material (a documentary, a making of, an interview or two -- anything). This is certainly one film that deserves the extra attention. However I'm grateful for the 2.35 version.
Bottom line: a real treat for cinephiles, and a great movie for everyone else.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By E. Frampton on September 9, 2001
Format: DVD
The Parallax View is the ultimate paranoia film, bar none. It is the standard by which all other films of this genre are judged. In other words, it is a classic. It combines stellar direction with a very believable performance by Warren Beatty to create a film that has no equal. From the opening on the Space Needle, it is obvious this movie isn't going to be run of the mill. From there, every plot line just gets bigger and bigger, until everything envelops Warren Beatty to form the film's stunning conclusion. Alan Pakula would eventually follow this film up with All The Presidents Men, that film is good, but this film is great. It stands as his masterwork, and it is the best of the 70's paranoia pictures.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful By El Kabong on June 10, 2002
Format: DVD
SPOILER ALERT
Reminds me very much of THE WICKER MAN (released that same year of '74) in that both films chart the nightmarish progress of men who are seeking to uncover a mystery and right a great wrong, who must plunge into disorienting environments where none of the rules they adhered to back in the 'normal world' apply; they can't get their footing, and quickly become controlled by events. By the time they realize their every step has been not just watched but directed from the beginning...it's too late.
Warren Beatty's Joe Frady, a minor reporter in the Northwest, begins investigating the deaths of witnesses to a political assassination he'd covered three years before. He stumbles upon literature from The Parallax Corporation, an outfit he comes to believe are clandestinely recruiting & training assassins; he decides to penetrate the group as a 'job applicant', armed with a mass-murderer's psych-test responses and a false identity. He has made a slight but fatal error in judgment, however, for Parallax are in the business of identifying and grooming fall guys - custom-built, designer patsies to draw attention from their trained cadre of actual assassins during the deed, then to be killed in the ensuing melee. Ingeniously, Parallax carefully select appropriate moody-loner backgrounds that will satisfy official inquiries into the murder that the killer was a certified strange-o, thus acting alone.
The first half of PARALLAX plays like a standard macho action picture: barroom brawls, car chases, grouchy editors, redneck cops, sexually forthright women swarming over the studly maverick hero. Stay with it, however.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "franksoprano" on November 25, 2000
Format: DVD
"The Parallax View" remains one of the classic paranoid conspiracy thrillers of the 1970's.
Released during the height of the Watergate revelations and just a few years after the assassinations of the sixties, "Parallax" played on the general public mistrust of the government, politicians and big monolithic corporations.
Director Alan Pakula ("All The President's Men") gives the film a stunning visual style (the reporter hero (Warren Beatty) is continually shown being dwarfed by the large Parallax steel and glass headquarters)and the short film Beatty is told to watch as he attempts to infiltrate the Parallax conspiracy remains one of the best moments ever in a feature film.
The quality of the DVD is superb (especially considering the film is almost 30 years old), images are sharp and clear.
However,considering the film's dense subject matter, one would have hoped Paramount would have included some additional special features (interviews with political activist Beatty, screenwriters Lorenzo Semple Jr. and David Giler; making of featurette etc).
Example: the final shooting script of "Parallax" is completely different from the original screenplay that was written by Semple; Beatty changed the character of the hero from a small town cop to an investigative reporter.
The only special feature included on the DVD is an well produced 1974 theatrical trailer.
However, the widescreen version of the film is a far improvement over the pan and scan version available on VHS.
Conspiracy buffs still find "The Parallax View" one of the best films of the genre.
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