Reporter Joe Frady (Beatty) is onto a terrifying, wide-ranging conspiracy in the wake of a prominent senator's assassination. He must substantiate his theory to editor Bill Rintels (Cronyn), who has reason to doubt him thanks to past irresponsible behavior. Frady does indeed have a tiger by the tail, and the burning question becomes: will he manage to live long enough to get his scoop?
One of our top political paranoia thrillers, director Pakula uses this story to stir up close-to-the-surface fears and doubts about hidden machinations deeply embedded in our country's recent past. The result is eerily compelling. Direction, script, and acting are uniformly excellent, and the film's climax is particularly intense. This subtle, intelligent thriller ranks among our favorite Beatty outings, with a jittery Prentiss and nicely seasoned Cronyn providing first-rate support among a stellar cast. Michael Small's memorable music score also adds to the tension. View this!