Klute (1971)
Warner Home Video
Cast: Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Roy Scheider
Extras: Featurette, Theatrical Trailer, Filmographies

Alan J. Pakula is at home in the genre of heartfelt character drama, like ’Sophie’s Choice,’ as much as in intense thrillers. ’Klute’ is his 1971 thriller debut starring Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland in a film that was at its time quite provocative. While little of that is left in this day and age, the film nonetheless show a lot of class with a cinematography that is absolutely stunning and like ’The Ipcress File’ is one of those few films that make staggeringly marvelous use of the widescreen image format. It is the story of a callgirl that has two men on her heels. One of them is out to kill her, while the other one tries to save her.

Warner Home Video is presenting ’Klute’ in the original 2.35:1 aspect ration on this DVD in a transfer that is enhanced for 16×9 TV sets. The transfer is mostly clean with few minor blemishes. Since the color scheme is equally important to this film as its aspect ratio, it is great to see that it also has been perfectly reproduced on this release. The film is comprised of many very dark shots and contrast of the presentation is well preserving this with deep blacks that are solid and don’t break up. Image detail is a bit lacking in the shadow areas with slight dot crawl, but for the most part, the image is without flaws, creating a very pleasant presentation of this film. The compression is free of artifacts, further making for a stable and detailed presentation.

The DVD comes with the film’s original mono soundtrack that has been left untouched. As a result it clearly shows the limitations of the technology at the time, but also maintains its very vintage quality. The tracks is a bit muddy at times and the narrow frequency response gives it a harsh quality, but somehow it perfectly befits the movie itself.

The disc doesn’t offer much in terms of extras. There’s a brief featurette prepared for the film’s release in 1971. It offers a look behind the scenes with cast and crew interviews and some fine behind-the-scenes footage. The movie’s trailer and filmographies are also part of the release.

’Klute’ is a fine film that built the foundation to Pakula’s reputation as a masterful director. This DVD is a good-looking version of the movie that will give fans the opportunity to revisit it in all its glory.