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Film / Tightrope

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A 1984 American neo-noir slasher crime directed by Richard Tuggle that has a single father and cop (Clint Eastwood) going after a serial-killer rapist but he soon finds himself being the hunted.

The movie also stars Geneviève Bujold, Dan Hedaya, Alison Eastwood, Jenny Beck, Marco St John, Rod Masterson, Jamie Rose, and Janet MacLachlan.

It was released on May 17, 1984.

Tropes for the film:

  • Feet-First Introduction: The killer is first shown via his trainers as he stalks a woman. She's aware that someone is following her, but runs into a uniformed police officer who escorts her home safely. The camera than tracks down to show the police officer is wearing the killer's trainers.
  • Innocent Awkward Question: While driving with his two daughters, young Penny Block inquires, "Daddy, what's a hard on?" Cue Eastwood doing a Spit Take into the windshield. The situation is made worse by Penny's older sister, Amanda, giggling mercilessly at her father's discomfort.
  • One-Word Title: Tightrope.
  • Right Behind Me: Det. Block is trying to avoid rape victim advocate Beryl.
    Uniformed Officer: Beryl Thibodeaux from the rape something or other wants to see you.
    Block: Where is she?
    Officer: In the reception room.
    Block: Tell her I'm out.
    Officer: I did. She said she'd wait.
    Block: Good. Tell her I'm out of town.
    [Wes turns around and sees Beryl standing there; she gives a sarcastic grin]
    Beryl: Welcome back.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The film was inspired by the Bay Area Rapist, who had been terrorizing the San Francisco Bay Area for much of the previous ten years.
  • Spit Take: When Block is driving his daughters to school, the youngest asks out of the blue: "Dad, what's a hard-on?"... leading to Block and his eldest daughter spewing their soft drinks onto the windscreen
  • Suspect Is Hatless:
    Max: The killer's a Caucasian, blood type O... about in his mid-40s. We found traces of a red fiber on all the victims.
    Woman: From what?
    Max: We don't know.
    Woman: Any suspects?
    Max: About 120,000 of them.
    Woman: Anything you'd like me to tell the mayor?
    Max: Yeah. He's one of them.
  • Welcome to the Big City: Det. Block tells of how he fell in love with New Orleans from the moment he first arrived carrying all his belongings in a suitcase. His Love Interest asks if he ever reconsidered this. He says, "Yes, when I looked down and saw my suitcase was missing."