A Film by Ivan Passer
There may be some dated or downright silly elements of Cutter’s Way, Ivan Passer’s 1981 mystery—but what’s great about it outweighs any of its clumsiness and stays in the viewer’s memory. Not enough people know about John Heard’s performance as the unhinged, unlikable, yet undeniably compelling Alex Cutter; this film without any scenes of military conflict is one of the best about Vietnam. Join Mike and Dan for a conversation about the ways in which the title character resembles Captain Ahab physically, emotionally, and psychologically; how the film uses and then abandons Hollywood conventions; and the ways in which a convoluted murder plot doesn’t detract from complicated issues of heroism, friendship, and justice. So jump on that white horse and give it a listen!
One of our favorite memoirs of Vietnam is Things I’ll Never Forget: Memories of a Marine in Vietnam. Thom Jones’s short story collection The Pugilist at Rest contains incredible fiction about the war (and would, we imagine, be admired by Alex Cutter).