The Dark Side Of California: Cutter’s Way

“Cutter’s Way” is a character study wrapped in a film noir murder mystery about a group of friends and outcasts living in Santa Barbara, CA. If it had been released in 1976 it would probably be considered a minor classic of 70s cinema, instead it was barely released in 1981 and basically disowned by the studio that made it, and now it is another one of those great cult films that almost no one has seen or even knows exists.

Starring John Heard as the bitter, cynical and wounded in more ways than one Vietnam vet Cutter, Lisa Eichorn as his burned out and alcoholic wife Mo have the dominant parts in the film over Jeff Bridges vacillating beach boyish boat salesman and sometime gigolo Bone. Directed by the Czech Milos Forman associate Ivan Passer it is a film that I suspect that once you have seen it, you will either love it or hate it. “Cutter’s Way” is as far as 80s studio films got from the dominant summer blockbuster mentality of that decade as you could get.

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