Night Moves, written by Alan Sharp
A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVa4_CsRStSBBDo4uJWT8BSWtTTn0N1E and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
Night Moves is a splendid crime story.
The New York Times’ Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made list includes it:
The director, Arthur Penn is the creator behind Bonnie and Clyde, where he had the chance to work with Gene Hackman.
The latter is one of the best actors ever:
- The French Connection, Unforgiven, The Conversation, The Royal Tenenbaums, Night Moves, Bonnie and Clyde stand proof of an extraordinary talent.
In this film, Gene Hackman is Harry Moseby a private detective.
He is hired, as is most often the case on screen and perhaps in real life, to find a missing person, a girl who seems to be a teenager.
Melanie Griffith has the role of Delilah “Delly” Grastner and this is the first important role in the career of…
- The Working Girl
Harry Moseby is hired by a former Hollywood actress that has married a film mogul and acts unpleasantly.
She agrees to the fee stated by the private detective even if he states that she could find cheaper and she wonders about better.
Harry travels to Florida where he starts his investigation, clashing with a beaten man called Quentin, a strange mechanic.
James Woods plays Quentin and he has a few funny lines and a role that makes him a suspect in a killing.
- “ Harry Moseby: What happened to your face?
- Quentin: I won second prize in a fight.
- Harry Moseby: You got any idea where she could be? Is she visiting friends? Is she meditating? Did she join a commune?
- Quentin: [scoffs] Delly's idea of a "commune" is her and a guy on top of her.”
Harry Moseby finds the very young girl, who is under age, but she does not want to get to the home of her mother.
Her sex appeal makes the man who has to live around her, the step father say that he wished there were laws “on that”…
“There are” is the dry, witty and funny line of the detective that has plenty of those and is actually a great figure.
He is determined, we established he has a great sense of humor, wise, persistent, brave, resilient, professional.
- “Paula: When we're all as free as Delly there'll be rioting in the streets.”
With a girl as attractive and “liberated” as Delly it is hard to stay on the right side of the law, moral and social rules.
But Harry has a method:
- “Paula: How do you resist Delly?
- Harry Moseby: Oh, I just think good, clean thoughts, like Thanksgiving, George Washington's teeth.”
I insist on the fact that it is not just the plot that is interesting and has a lot going for it, surprises a murder or two.
The dialogue is superb, with humor, fine observations, reference to the more famous Sam Spade and unfamiliar independent authors:
- “Harry Moseby: I saw a Rohmer film once. It was kind of like watching paint dry…
- Paula: [of the uninhibited Delly] Did she offer you the key to the city?
- Harry Moseby: Well, no. It was, uh, more like a sightseeing tour.”