Cutter's Way review

Ivan Passer's paranoid 'Nam veteran tale is still a chilling masterpiece 30 years on...

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Unlike fellow Czech expat Milos Forman, Ivan Passer never saw his US career really take off. But he directed a subversive masterpiece in Cutter’s Way (1981) a paranoid noir thriller.

One night Richard bone (Jeff bridges), a Santa Barbara gigolo, sees a mysterious figure dump a body in a trashcan.

When he tentatively identifies the killer as a powerful oil tycoon, mutilated Vietnam vet Cutter (John Heard) takes the idea and runs with it, dismissing the warnings of his wife (Lisa Eichhorn).

The three leads are on outstanding form, while Jack Nitzsche’s score shimmers with foreboding.