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Cutter's Way Review

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Richard (Bridges) witnesses a murder, and tells his friend Alex (Heard), disabled by the Vietnam war, about it. From then on, Alex becomes obsessed with catching the man he believes is responsible.

★★★★★

Ex-radical gigolo Richard Bone (Bridges), wandering around downtown LA late at night, glimpses a man stuffing something that turns out to be the horribly abused corpse of a runaway girl into a trash can. Alex Cutter (Heard), Bone's one-eyed, one-legged, drunk Viet-vet friend, leaps to the conclusion that the culprit is oil billionaire J. J. Cord (Stephen Elliott), who represents to him everything evil about America. Mo (Eichhorn), Cutter's wife, wishes both men would grow up, but still gets involved when Cutter initiates a blackmail scam supposedly to determine whether or not Cord is guilty, before setting out on a mission of revenge.

Released in 1981, itís almost the last '1970s-style' film, a character study revolving around a mystery which is never fully resolved. Cord is the sort of American monster found in Citizen Kane or Chinatown, but his guilt or innocence is beside the point, which is to compare and contrast the psychologically and physically mutilated leftovers from the era of war, protest and dropping out.

Eichhorn, who should have had a much bigger career, is luminous as the sad-eyed heroine, while Heard pulls off the showy role - especially in a climax that finds him rampaging through a posh party at the Cord estate in search of justice.

One of the great overlooked American movies, with career-highlight work from director Ivan Passer and stars Jeff Bridges, John Heard and Lisa Eichhorn.