August 15, 2018

Episode 377: The Parallax View (1974)

Special Guests: William Daniels, Bonnie Bartlett, Barna William Donovan, Shane O’Sullivan
Guest Co-Hosts: Chris Stachiw, Jess Byard

Alan J. Pakula's, The Parallax View (1974) stars Warren Beatty as reporter Joe Frady. After a mysterious series of deaths, Frady gets embroiled in an investigation that leads him to The Parallax Corporation, a shady company that finds and recruits sociopaths in order to use them as assassins.

Interviews this episode include actor William Daniels and his wife Bonnie Bartlett, author Barna Donovan (Conspiracy Films: A Tour of Dark Places in the American Conscious), and filmmaker Shane O'Sullivan (RFK Must Die).

Clip of Lorenzo Semple Jr. from Television Academy Foundation.

Jess Byard and Chris Stachiw join Mike to discuss the book, the script, the rewrite and the eventual final product.

Listen/Download Now:

Buy The Parallax View on DVD
Buy The Parallax View by Loren Singer
Buy There I Go Again: How I Came to Be Mr. Feeny, John Adams, Dr. Craig, KITT, and Many Others by William Daniels
Buy Confirmation: Investigations of the Unexplained by Barna William Donovan
Buy Who Killed Bobby? : The Unsolved Murder of Robert F. Kennedy by Shane O'Sullivan
Listen to our Executive Action episode
Listen to our Blow Out episode

Original Soundtrack by Michael Small



  1. Downloaded and watched this specifically so I could listen to the podcast afterwards. I had a vague recollection that it was a pretty well-respected thriller and went in with high hopes. I was sorely and surprisingly disappointed. I thought the movie was bad TV-movie-level dreck. The story and execution lacked any subtlety or nuance and it just seemed like a cardboard, choppy and simplistic attempt at grand political intrigue. Needless to say, the lavish praise of the podcast mystified me. Big fan of the podcast, but we seriously diverged on this one.

  2. Thanks for this episode on one of my favorite movies with some wonderful background information and interviews. The Parallax View is the perfect movie for repeat viewings, and it's disheartening that nobody participating on the podcast managed to secure a good widescreen copy. Both the original region 1 Paramount dvd and the reissue dvd were readily available up until a couple of years ago, and I have watched the movie on my plasma TV with great enjoyment for the last 17 years. So it's too bad the visual aspect of the movie got short shrift in the episode. The visual choices and cinematography using the very edges of the frame tell so much about the themes of the movie: the individual getting dwarfed by corporate structures as the movie progresses, and becoming a pawn along the way. Also prescient, the use of American symbols (culminating in the montage sequence) turning out to be hollow vessels of significance which only seem to exist to manipulate the individual into a false sense of nostalgia and misguided patriotism. And for me, probably watching from my own parallax viewpoint, the goals of the Parallax Corporation fall in line with the idea that creating fear and instability is the whole point for the people that pay the company for their services. Whether candidate X or Y gets killed, the fear and instability it creates will give rise to a malleable political, economical and social reality, which can then be exploited by those standing to gain from the constantly shifting realities. And so it goes!