In Ivan Passer’s Cutter’s Way, Jeff Bridges (The Big Lebowski and Rancho Deluxe), John Heard (Chilly Scenes of Winter and After Hours) and Lisa Eichhorn (Yanks and King of the Hill) deliver exemplary performances as a trio of ‘60s casualties embroiled in a murder investigation that goes increasingly off-the-rails and threatens to swallow them all whole.
Unambitious yacht salesman and gigolo Richard Bone (Bridges) skates on his good looks and avoids all responsibility. His best friend Alex Cutter (Heard) returned from Vietnam with his body ruined, but his mind sharpened and attuned to the injustices and politics that led to his predicament. After Bone witnesses a shadowy figure dump a young woman’s body in the trash, he fingers local oil magnate J.J. Cord (Stephen Elliott, Beverly Hills Cop and Death Wish) as the killer. As Bone backs away from this accusation, Cutter charges forward on a crusade to make Cord pay not only for this murder, but for all the other crimes fat cats like him have routinely gotten away with. Cutter’s long-suffering wife Mo (Eichhorn), struggles to keep her own head above the surface, while steering the two men toward saner waters.
Based on Newton Thornburg’s 1976 novel Cutter and Bone, and initially released under that title to poor reviews and box office, the film was reborn as Cutter’s Way and became a highly acclaimed cult favorite. The lush, sunny Santa Barbara setting, luminously photographed by DP Jordan Cronenweth (Blade Runner and Stop Making Sense), is an ironic counter to the deeply cynical and tragic vibes of this neo-noir. The distinctly beautiful score by pop and rock maestro Jack Nitzsche ranks as one of his most stirring works. Helmed by Czech filmmaker Passer (Intimate Lighting and Born to Win), Cutter’s Way is one of the most impassioned and truthful critiques of the American hierarchy ever filmed. Now, perhaps as relevant as ever, it’s been freshly restored in 2K from its 35mm interpositive.
directed by: Ivan Passer
starring: Jeff Bridges, John Heard, Lisa Eichhorn, Arthur Rosenberg, Ann Dusenberry
1981 / 109 min / 1.85:1 / English DTS-HD MA 2.0
- Region A Blu-ray
- New 2K restoration from its 35mm interpositive
- “Mo’s Way,” a newly filmed video interview with star Lisa Eichhorn
- “From Cutter and Bone to Cutter’s Way,” a newly filmed video interview with former UA Classics exec Ira Deutchman
- Archival video interview with director Ivan Passer
- Archival video interview with writer Jeffrey Alan Fiskin
- Archival video interview with producer Paul Gurian
- Archival video featurette on composer Jack Nitzsche
- Archival audio introduction by star Jeff Bridges
- Archival video introduction by director Bertrand Tavernier
- Image gallery
- Theatrical trailers
- Isolated music track
- Newly recorded audio commentary by novelist Matthew Specktor
- Archival audio commentary by film historians Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman
- Archival audio commentary by assistant director Larry Franco and unit production manager Barrie Osborne
- Booklet with a new essay by DJ and writer Margaret Barton-Fumo and archival essay by Cult Movies author Danny Peary
- English SDH subtitles