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Night Moves

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In what resembles a companion piece to The Conversation Gene Hackman plays the remote, emotionally reticent Harry Moseby, a private investigator who goes on doing other people’s dirty business even while he hasn’t a clue about what’s going on in his own life. The witty, elliptical, intricately plotted screenplay by Scottish writer Alan Sharp sends Harry from Los Angeles down to the Florida Keys on a case to track down the runaway daughter of a fading movie actress. The daughter is played by a very young Melanie Griffith, in her first role. See, she was never lost, but everyone else in the movie may be.

In many ways Night Moves best sums up the malaise of its era. Arthur Penn’s neo-noir classic takes the p.i. genre to the point of no-return: the more answers Harry finds, the further he gets from a solution.

Director Arthur Penn was a generation older than most of the “movie brats”, a graduate from directing Live TV in the 1950s, but his Bonnie and Clyde (1967) was a key film in sparking the New Hollywood.

A key film of the 70s… Essential viewing.

Phil Hardy, Time Out

In the front rank of New Hollywood cinema. In building a formally ingenious, emotionally generous modern-day noir around a man who, in Paula’s words, persists in “asking the wrong questions,” Penn, Sharp, and Hackman succeed in posing searching ones of their viewers, whether in 1975 or today.

Jonathan Murray, Cineaste

This is one of the films that helped us realize there could be films noir in colour… Penn’s use of pople is as tender and piercing as ever. The great cast builds an unforgettable gallery of unease and unrealibility… Night Moves is gloomy, downcast, and grown-up. It’s exactly what America deserved at the time.

David Thomson, Have You Seen…?

Aug 4 Only: Introduction from novelist Sam Wiebe (Hell and Gone; Dave Wakeland novels)


Arthur Penn


Gene Hackman, Susan Clark, Jennifer Warren, Melanie Griffith, James Woods, Edward Binns, Harris Yulin

Country of Origin






100 min

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Robert M. Sherman


Alan Sharp


Bruce Surtees


Dede Allen, Stephen A. Rotter

Original Music

Michael Small

Production Design

George Jenkins

In the Spotlight: Crime Scenes

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