Night Moves (film)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Night Moves is a 1975 detective film directed by Arthur Penn. The film stars Gene Hackman, Jennifer Warren and Susan Clark, and features very early career appearances by Melanie Griffith and James Woods. Hackman was nominated for the BAFTA Award for his portrayal of Harry Moseby, a private investigator.

Plot summary

Private investigator Harry Moseby is a retired professional football player working as a private investigator in Los Angeles. He is dedicated to his job, but his dedication does not make him happy or powerful in his personal life, and his wife Ellen is unfaithful to him. Aging actress Arlene Iverson hires Harry to find her trust-funded daughter Delly Grastner, distracting Harry from his marital problems as he tracks the lascivious runaway teen to Florida. In the Florida Keys, Harry has an affair of his own with Paula, and he succeeds in locating Delly, even as he learns that finding her is only the beginning of a much larger case. As the "accidental" deaths multiply, Harry discovers that everyone has his or her own motives and that he cannot do much to stem the tide of deep-seated depravity.

My Night at Maud's

The most quoted line from Night Moves occurs when Moseby declines an invitation from his wife to see the movie My Night at Maud's: "I saw a Rohmer film once. It was kinda like watching paint dry." The exchange from Night Moves was quoted in director Éric Rohmer's New York Times obituary in 2010. Penn himself is an admirer of Rohmer's films; Jim Emerson has written that, "Harry's remark, as scripted by Alan Sharp, is a brittle homophobic jab at a gay friend of his wife's." Bruce Jackson has written an extended discussion of the role of My Night at Maud's (1970) in Night Moves; viewers familiar with the earlier film may recognize that its protagonist and Moseby have related opportunities for infidelity, but respond differently.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Night Moves (film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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