Moviedrome Mondays: The Parallax View (1974)

For the first time since the Barbarella post three weeks back (read it here), this Moviedrome Mondays entry features a video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing Alan J. Pakula’s 1974 politically charged thriller The Parallax View from season 1 of the program (read here). The episode’s original airdate was July 17, 1988 (read here). Cox does not talk much here regarding his thoughts on the film (though he reportedly loves it). Instead, he uses the film and connects it to how the American political climate of the 1960’s changed the country forever. The main cases here are the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 (read here), presidential nominee Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 (read here) and Civil Rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. (read here) from that same year. Like Cox, I used some of these same historical events in my reviews of both George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and Robert Altman’s Nashville and connected them to the social commentary that both films displayed in different ways. The former came out in 68 and the latter in 1975. Everything Cox says here is just mesmerizing. Not only that, but I have also uploaded a video link of Cox expanding upon his thoughts in a another televised showing of The Parallax View as part of BBC Two’sĀ KennedyĀ Night on November 21, 1993. I have uploaded quite a few video links to it since some of the videos feel incomplete.

First, here is the youtube video link of Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to The Parallax View

Here is one youtube video link part of Cox’s intro to the same film from 1993 on BBC Two’s Kennedy Night

Here is another youtube video link part to that same program

And here is another youtube video link that runs 21 minutes or so

Here is a youtube link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

11 thoughts on “Moviedrome Mondays: The Parallax View (1974)

  1. I think tat film is underrated, and often overlooked now. I saw it on release, and immediately got all the references.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Thanks for all the links and background information, The Parallax View is another great Moviedrome selection. The final 15 or so minutes of this film are pure genius. The way the convention scene is filmed with Beatty dwarfed against the massive room in which the candidate gets assassinated, brilliantly highlights the characters powerlessness against corruption. The final scene is just chilling.

  3. I agree that The Parallax View is underrated. I’ve never really understood why, except there were so many stellar films of that year that this very good film has been overlooked. I think it’s very smart suspense in the vein of The Manchurian Candidate with Beatty at the top of his form.

  4. The year was 1974 and films like Chinatown, The Conversation, The Godfather Part II (to name just three examples) were making the rounds šŸ™‚ I think this film should be included with them and for my money, my personal favorite of director Alan J. Pakula’s “Paranoia Trilogy” which began in 1971 with Klute, continued in 1974 with this one and concluded in 1976 with All the President’s Men. Anyway, thanks for dropping by šŸ™‚

  5. I love the Paranoia Trilogy too, but I think The Parallax View is the least of the three. Klute is my favorite. Klute and All The Presidents Men are quieter films. Neither film relies on stunts or explosions or body count, but both are very suspenseful. That said, the dam scene in Parallax View is spectacular filmmaking.

  6. Well all of them deal with the decade’s turbulent events in different ways. Since The Parallax View dealt with assassination, it was only logical that the film you describe was going to result in the way it did. Anyway, keep those comments coming šŸ™‚

  7. I agree with others here. This film is underrated and definitely should be better known.

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