Cutter's Way  

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Cutter's Way (also known as Cutter and Bone) is a 1981 political thriller directed by Ivan Passer. The film stars Jeff Bridges, John Heard, and Lisa Eichhorn. The screenplay was by Jeffrey Alan Fiskin, based on the novel Cutter and Bone by Newton Thornburg.


One rainy night in Santa Barbara, California, Richard Bone's (Bridges) car breaks down in an alleyway. He spots a large, mysterious car in the distance. A man dumps something into a garbage can. At first, Bone thinks nothing of it and proceeds to meet his friend, Vietnam veteran Alex Cutter (Heard). The next day, a young girl is found brutally murdered in the same alleyway where Bone abandoned his car. He becomes a suspect.

When Bone spots the man he thinks is the murderer in the Santa Barbara "Founder's Day Parade" later that day – local tycoon J.J. Cord (Stephen Elliott) – Cutter begins to take an interest in the mystery that unfolds. His interest soon becomes a conspiracy theory that develops into a troublesome investigation with his skeptical friend and the dead girl's sister (Ann Dusenberry) along for the ride. After he attempts to blackmail Cord, Cutter's house mysteriously burns down with his wife Mo (Lisa Eichhorn) inside.

Convinced that Cord had been trying to silence Bone, Cutter begins researching Cord and discovers that he was responsible for the deaths of at least two others. He steals an invitation to a party at Cord's house where he plans to kill him. When Bone realizes what Cutter's plans are, he attempts to leave the party but goes after Cutter to convince him not to kill Cord. After being chased by security, Bone winds up in Cord's office. After a brief conversation in which Cord assumes that Cutter's war experience has made him paranoid, Cutter suddenly crashes through the window. As he is dying, Bone confirms that Cord was the killer. When Cord expresses indifference, Bone grabs Cutter's gun and shoots him.

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