Tightrope


1h 57m 1984

Brief Synopsis

A detective is on the trail of a serial killer who preys upon prostitutes in New Orleans' red light district, an area which the detective himself, divorced and lonely, is inexorably drawn to.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Crime
Drama
Thriller
Release Date
1984
Production Company
D Bassett & Associates Inc; Malpaso Productions; Pacific Title & Art Studio; Panavision, Ltd.; Unique Catering Inc; Warner Bros. Pictures
Distribution Company
Columbia-Emi-Warner; Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group; Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
Location
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 57m

Synopsis

A detective is on the trail of a serial killer who preys upon prostitutes in New Orleans' red light district, an area which the detective himself, divorced and lonely, is inexorably drawn to.

Crew

Edward Aiona

Property Master

Dick Alexander

Sound Rerecording Mixer

Kirk E Bales

Dolly Grip

Marco Barla

Unit Publicist

Ernie Bishop

Set Decorator

Billy Bragg

Camera Operator 2nd Unit (2nd Unit)

Neil Burrow

Sound Effects Editor

Paul Calabria

Animal Handler

Salvador Camacho

Camera Operator 2nd Unit (2nd Unit)

Edward C Carfagno

Production Designer

Joel Cox

Editor

Gordon Davidson

Sound Effects Editor

Keith Dillin

Transportation Captain

Clint Eastwood

Producer

Les Fresholtz

Sound Rerecording Mixer

Jack N Green

Camera Operator

Barbara Guedel

Makeup

Donald Harris

Music Editor

Deborah Hopper

Wardrobe (Women)

Judi Hoyt

Assistant (To Producers)

Phyllis Huffman

Casting Executive

L Dean Jones

2nd Assistant Director

William B. Kaplan

Sound Mixer

Linda Sony Kinney

Other

Robert Lawless

Other

Fritz Manes

Producer

Fritz Manes

Unit Production Manager

Michael Maurer

Auditor

Bill Miller

Transportation Coordinator

Paul Moen

2nd Assistant Director

John Morrisey

Assistant Editor

Alan Robert Murray

Sound Effects Editor

Leo Napolitano

Camera Assistant

Lloyd Nelson

Script Supervisor

Lennie Niehaus

Music

George Orrison

Stunt Coordinator

Victor Perez

Bestboy

Vern Poore

Sound Rerecording Mixer

Marcia Reed

Stills

Charlie Saldana

Key Grip

Chet Slomka

Sound Effects Editor

Bruce Spellman

2nd Grip

Tom Stern

Gaffer

Jules Strasser

Boom Operator

Bruce Surtees

Director Of Photography

Richard Tuggle

Screenwriter

Joe Unsinn

Special Effects

David Valdes

1st Assistant Director

Buddy Van Horn

Stunt Coordinator

John M Walker

Camera Assistant

Marlene Williams

Hairstyles

Jeff Wolf

Camera Operator 2nd Unit (2nd Unit)

Glenn T Wright

Costume Supervisor

Film Details

MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Crime
Drama
Thriller
Release Date
1984
Production Company
D Bassett & Associates Inc; Malpaso Productions; Pacific Title & Art Studio; Panavision, Ltd.; Unique Catering Inc; Warner Bros. Pictures
Distribution Company
Columbia-Emi-Warner; Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group; Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
Location
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 57m

Articles

Clint Eastwood's Tightrope


You have to give Clint Eastwood credit. In all of movie history, only John Wayne enjoyed comparable longevity as a major draw, and Eastwood has never been afraid to toy with his public persona. Most people immediately envision him in such iconic roles as Dirty Harry, or as the beady-eyed drifter in those baroque 1960s "Spaghetti Westerns." But he's also played a wild West phony (Bronco Billy), a reckless film director (White Hunter, Black Heart), a dying Depression-era singer (Honky-Tonk Man, a victimized San Francisco deejay (Play Misty For Me, a lovelorn magazine photographer (The Bridges of Madison County, and an aging astronaut (Space Cowboys. And that's not counting two pictures featuring a beer-guzzling orangutan.

Unfortunately, it's also possible to give Eastwood way too much credit. Staying power and an ongoing willingness to surprise less adventurous audience members isn't the same thing as appearing in tons of great films. There's no ignoring the fact that our man Clint is very often the best thing about slow, overly schematic pictures that seem to have been stamped out on an assembly line. Richard Tuggle's Tightrope, a recent Warner Video DVD release, is a prime example of Eastwood confounding our expectations in a movie that's not much better than an R-rated episode of McCloud.

Eastwood plays Wes Block, a divorced New Orleans detective who's struggling to raise his two young daughters (including Eastwood's real-life daughter, Alison) on his own. Wes spends a lot of time investigating grisly murders in the seedier corners of this hard-partying town, so he ultimately has trouble establishing intimate relations of his own. He's taken to visiting prostitutes to relieve his anxieties, and the sex sessions have gotten out of hand. Suffice it to say that he doesn't leave his handcuffs at the police station when he's off-duty. Soon, he's on the trail of a serial killer who, unbeknownst to the rest of the force, is knocking off women of dubious character who have been involved with Brock.

If the studio had had the guts to pursue this perverse storyline, Tightrope could have been genuinely disturbing. But concessions were obviously made so Eastwood's core audience wouldn't balk (they balked anyway, but that's another story.)

What Tuggle ended up with is a very disappointing Kinky lite, a movie about one man's sexual darkness that couldn't even offend Middle America. Some of the theoretically tawdry sexual hijinks are embarrassing, including a bout of woman-on-woman oil-wrestling at a strip club that looks like an Animal House outtake. There's also a rape activist/love interest (Genevieve Bujold) whose self-defense classes involve a dummy with eyes that light up when she kicks it in the tennis balls. It lets out a little electronic groan and its tongue sticks out at the moment of impact. I'm not making this up.

Outside of that dummy, which appears to have not been store-bought, there's very little originality on display here. The killer is repeatedly presented as a set of shoes stalking yet another victim while a cheesy synthesizer chord announces his unstoppable evil, and Eastwood's tired banter with his precocious kids hardly qualifies as comic relief.

Tightrope is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. There are no glaring drawbacks to the print itself, or to the Dolby 5.1 soundtrack. However, some critics at the time of the film's release complained that Bruce Surtees' cinematography was too dark, and, film noir trappings or not, that's often the case. Some of the scenes appear to be playing out in a funhouse tunnel rather than the streets of New Orleans. Only the presence of Lennie Niehaus's overbearing, jazz-based score would suggest otherwise. The only extras are a trailer and a little bit of info on Eastwood's career.

For more information about Tightrope, visit Warner Video. To order Tightrope, go to TCM Shopping.

by Paul Tatara
Clint Eastwood's Tightrope

Clint Eastwood's Tightrope

You have to give Clint Eastwood credit. In all of movie history, only John Wayne enjoyed comparable longevity as a major draw, and Eastwood has never been afraid to toy with his public persona. Most people immediately envision him in such iconic roles as Dirty Harry, or as the beady-eyed drifter in those baroque 1960s "Spaghetti Westerns." But he's also played a wild West phony (Bronco Billy), a reckless film director (White Hunter, Black Heart), a dying Depression-era singer (Honky-Tonk Man, a victimized San Francisco deejay (Play Misty For Me, a lovelorn magazine photographer (The Bridges of Madison County, and an aging astronaut (Space Cowboys. And that's not counting two pictures featuring a beer-guzzling orangutan. Unfortunately, it's also possible to give Eastwood way too much credit. Staying power and an ongoing willingness to surprise less adventurous audience members isn't the same thing as appearing in tons of great films. There's no ignoring the fact that our man Clint is very often the best thing about slow, overly schematic pictures that seem to have been stamped out on an assembly line. Richard Tuggle's Tightrope, a recent Warner Video DVD release, is a prime example of Eastwood confounding our expectations in a movie that's not much better than an R-rated episode of McCloud. Eastwood plays Wes Block, a divorced New Orleans detective who's struggling to raise his two young daughters (including Eastwood's real-life daughter, Alison) on his own. Wes spends a lot of time investigating grisly murders in the seedier corners of this hard-partying town, so he ultimately has trouble establishing intimate relations of his own. He's taken to visiting prostitutes to relieve his anxieties, and the sex sessions have gotten out of hand. Suffice it to say that he doesn't leave his handcuffs at the police station when he's off-duty. Soon, he's on the trail of a serial killer who, unbeknownst to the rest of the force, is knocking off women of dubious character who have been involved with Brock. If the studio had had the guts to pursue this perverse storyline, Tightrope could have been genuinely disturbing. But concessions were obviously made so Eastwood's core audience wouldn't balk (they balked anyway, but that's another story.) What Tuggle ended up with is a very disappointing Kinky lite, a movie about one man's sexual darkness that couldn't even offend Middle America. Some of the theoretically tawdry sexual hijinks are embarrassing, including a bout of woman-on-woman oil-wrestling at a strip club that looks like an Animal House outtake. There's also a rape activist/love interest (Genevieve Bujold) whose self-defense classes involve a dummy with eyes that light up when she kicks it in the tennis balls. It lets out a little electronic groan and its tongue sticks out at the moment of impact. I'm not making this up. Outside of that dummy, which appears to have not been store-bought, there's very little originality on display here. The killer is repeatedly presented as a set of shoes stalking yet another victim while a cheesy synthesizer chord announces his unstoppable evil, and Eastwood's tired banter with his precocious kids hardly qualifies as comic relief. Tightrope is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. There are no glaring drawbacks to the print itself, or to the Dolby 5.1 soundtrack. However, some critics at the time of the film's release complained that Bruce Surtees' cinematography was too dark, and, film noir trappings or not, that's often the case. Some of the scenes appear to be playing out in a funhouse tunnel rather than the streets of New Orleans. Only the presence of Lennie Niehaus's overbearing, jazz-based score would suggest otherwise. The only extras are a trailer and a little bit of info on Eastwood's career. For more information about Tightrope, visit Warner Video. To order Tightrope, go to TCM Shopping. by Paul Tatara

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer August 17, 1984

Released in USA on video.

Completed shooting March 1984.

Released in United States Summer August 17, 1984