Night Moves

Directed by Arthur Penn

Private detective Harry Moseby is hired on to what seems to be a standard missing person case, by an aging Hollywood actress wants him to find her missing stepdaughter. Harry travels to Florida in search for her, but he soon begins to realise that this is only the beginning of a much larger case.

Chosen for My Noir by

Andy Willis, Reader in Film Studies at The University of Salford:

“With the release of Bonnie and Clyde, still his most famous film, in 1967 Arthur Penn contributed enormously to the artistic revival of American cinema. Whilst for most people the blood spattered frames of that film remain his most well known work, Penn’s career in the 1970s includes a number of pictures, Alice’s Restaurant, Little Big Man and Missouri Breaks, that are vital works of Hollywood’s last golden era. For me though the peak of his achievements is the noir drenched Night Moves. Here is a film where everything seems to come together perfectly. From Alan Sharp’s self-consciously generic script to Gene Hackman’s powerful yet subtle performance as gumshoe Harry Moseby to Bruce Surtees sun drenched cinematography, Penn manages to balance the whole thing majestically. Throw in the prerequisite 1970s disillusionment with society, including a particularly bleak ending, and you have what might be not only a prototype neo-noir but perhaps the quintessential American film of the mid-1970s. Oh and it has a theme tune that you will be humming for days after hearing it. Certainly worth staying awake until the wee small hours to catch.”

98 minutes


Country of origin:

Year of production: