Night Moves

Director: Arthur Penn
Screenwriters: Alan Sharp

Institute History

  • 1994 Sundance Film Festival


Night Moves is a wonderful little gem of a film. What lifts it above the conventional detective drama is the very unconventional characters, all interesting and enigmatic people with their own sorrows and secrets. Harry Moseby (Gene Hackman), a private investigator, is hired by an aging Hollywood actress (Janet Ward) to find her runaway daughter (a teenaged Melanie Griffith as a nymphet with a heart of gold). This is the plot, but it's just a pretext. The film is really about Harry.

Harry is the least hard-boiled person in his world, a place where nothing and no one are the way they seem, and this creates some significant problems for him. It's hard to predict what people will do when you're not sure who they are, in addition, early in the film he is thrown off balance when he learns that his wife (Susan Clark) is having an affair.

During the course of the film's forays from decadent Los Angeles to the deceptively laidback, straightforward and unspoiled Florida Keys, we, along with Harry, learn the hard lesson not to accept things at face value. An intelligent script and excellent performances, especially by Jennifer Warren as the elusive Paula, give Night Moves even more of an edge.

Monday Jan 24 1:20 pm
Holiday Village Cinema II

Sunday Jan 30 7:00 pm
Park City Library Center


— Barbara Bannon

Screening Details

  • Section: Challenge and Innovation: A Tribute to Arthur Penn
  • Film Type: Dramatic Feature
  • Country: U.S.A.
  • Run Time: 99 min.
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