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Unambitious yacht salesman and gigolo Richard Bone (Bridges) skates on his good looks and avoids all responsibility. His best friend Alex Cutter (Heard) returned from Vietnam with his body ruined, but his mind sharpened and attuned to the injustices and politics that led to his predicament. After Bone witnesses a shadowy figure dump a young woman’s body in the trash, he fingers local oil magnate J.J. Cord (Stephen Elliott, Beverly Hills Cop and Death Wish) as the killer. As Bone backs away from this accusation, Cutter charges forward on a crusade to make Cord pay not only for this murder, but for all the other crimes fat cats like him have routinely gotten away with. Cutter’s long-suffering wife Mo (Eichhorn), struggles to keep her own head above the surface, while steering the two men toward saner waters.
Based on Newton Thornburg’s 1976 novel Cutter and Bone, and initially released under that title to poor reviews and box office, the film was reborn as Cutter’s Way and became a highly acclaimed cult favorite. The lush, sunny Santa Barbara setting, luminously photographed by DP Jordan Cronenweth (Blade Runner and Stop Making Sense), is an ironic counter to the deeply cynical and tragic vibes of this neo-noir. The distinctly beautiful score by pop and rock maestro Jack Nitzsche ranks as one of his most stirring works. Helmed by Czech filmmaker Passer (Intimate Lighting and Born to Win), Cutter’s Way is one of the most impassioned and truthful critiques of the American hierarchy ever filmed. Now, perhaps as relevant as ever, it’s been freshly restored in 2K from its 35mm interpositive.
directed by: Ivan Passer
starring: Jeff Bridges, John Heard, Lisa Eichhorn, Arthur Rosenberg, Ann Dusenberry
1981 / 109 min / 1.85:1 / English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Purchase Original Edition From Vinegar Syndrome.