Oct 16, 2023

Cutter’s Way

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).

Follow us on X or Letterboxd. Incredible bumper music by John Deley.

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Two friends with strong opinions watch films separately then discuss them on the show for the first time. Can their friendship survive? Join Mike and Dan as they discuss one film each episode--and in only fifteen minutes, give or take a few. There are no long pauses, pontifications, or politics--just two guys who want to share their enthusiasm for great movies. On Twitter. On Letterboxd. Email: fifteenminutefilm@gmail.com.

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