"The Parallax View" Is Released
The Parallax View is a 1974 American thriller film directed by Alan J. Pakula and starring Warren Beatty, who was also a producer.
The film was adapted by David Giler, Lorenzo Semple Jr and an uncredited Robert Towne from the 1970 novel by Loren Singer. The story concerns a reporter's dangerous investigation into an obscure organization, the Parallax Corporation, whose primary, but not ostensible, enterprise is political assassination.
The Parallax View is one of a trilogy of thrillers directed by Pakula, along with Klute (1971) and All the President's Men (1976); The Parallax View was the only one not released by Warner Bros. Pictures.
While the Watergate scandal filled the headlines, Alan J. Pakula's 1974 thriller took its inspiration from the conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination. Journalist Joe Frady (Warren Beatty) misses witnessing the assassination of a senator at Seattle's Space Needle, but his newswoman former girlfriend Lee Carter (Paula Prentiss) was there. Even after a government commission concludes that it was a freak lone assassin, Lee tells Joe that she fears for her life since other witnesses keep dying. After she too turns up dead, Joe investigates, travelling to the small town where another witness has mysteriously expired. Stumbling on a corporate identity for the killers, Joe decides to dig deeper by infiltrating the Parallax Corporation as one of their hired assassins. As Joe becomes increasingly isolated in his assumed identity, he discovers what Parallax is all about -- but Parallax knows all about Joe too. Made between Klute (1971) and All the President's Men (1976), The Parallax View was the second film in Pakula's "paranoia" trilogy; it proved too dark even for a 1974 audience that embraced such other challenging films of that year as The Godfather, Part II and Chinatown, making The Parallax View the sole flop of Pakula's trilogy. ~ Lucia Bozzola, All Movie Guide