Celebrating B Movies, Cult Films, and Indie Classics.

Cutter’s Way (1981)

by  |  January 11th, 2012  |  Thriller

Growing up in the 80s and 90s I have come to enjoy a lot of the classics from back then, both on the big screen and on the small screen.  Such classic as, Batman (1989), The Babysitter (1980), A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984), Escape From LA (1996), Hunt For Red October (1990), The Big Lebowski (1998), to name a few…

Now speaking of, The Big Lebowski,  the lead actor in that movie, ‘Jeff Bridges’. Now this guy’s career has been great! Rather it be as the bad guy, ‘Barney Cousins’ in the movie, The Vanishing (1993), or as Kevin Flynn in the Disney classic, Tron (1982)!

The reason that I think that the work that he has done is so great, I believe is the fact that rather or not he plays the role of a good guy or bad, you almost always come out of the Theater having rooted for him because of how well he seems to develop what ever character he is playing at the time!

Now you might be wondering why I mention this… Well the reason I mention this is because he is one of the lead actors in the movie that I thought I would talk about here, Cutter’s Way (1981):

Written by: Jeffrey Alan Fiskin (The Pursuit Of D.B. Cooper), and Directed by: Ivan Passer (Faerie Tale Theater).  Starring: Jeff Bridges (Tron), John Heard (Cat People), Lisa Eichhorn (The Wall), Ann Dusenberry (Killjoy), Arthur Rosenberg (Nobody’s Perfekt) and Stephen Elliott (Arthur).

Cutter’s Way tells the story of Richard Bone (Bridges).  Now Bone is sort of a beach bum, drifter (but not some one who is ultra dirty and smelly). No, you see Bone is a some what successful Yacht Salesman who lives a playboy life style, but in the lower class district…

Now his only real, confirmed, long standing friends happen to be Alexander Cutter (Heard), who is a slightly crazy, crippled Vietnam veteran, Cutter’s wife, ‘Mo’ (Eichhorn) and George (Probably their only truly legitimate friend with money!

Bone (Bridges), Cutter (Heard), and Mo (Eichhorn) as they are eating lunch.

With all of this in mind, one night after horsing around with Cutter, Bone heads to his car to head home… The only problem is, is that his car wouldn’t start!

So Bone who is now frustrated ends up having to walk home in the Santa Barbara rains, but as he starts off for home, he is essentially pushed aside by some one who then proceeds to drive off in a hurry…

The next day afterwards, and after he is interrogated by the Police (his car as it turns out happened to be parked right next to the dead body that had been left by the crazy driver from the night before.) After this and while Cutter, Mo, and Bone are all watching a parade as it heads down the street. Bone and Cutter are talking about what occurred that night. This is when Bone discovered that a rich oil man by the name of J.J. Cord (Elliott) is the one that probably committed the murder!

While Bone is talking, Cutter seems to get a call of duty to try and solve the case (despite the fact that Bone doesn’t want to have anything to do with it and as a matter of fact would really just kind of be happy to be left to his peacefulness devil-may-care life style…) Cutter even goes so far as to get the dead girls sister involved!

Now despite Bone’s attempts to get Cutter to abandon his crusade, Cutter will stop at nothing to see Cord put to justice, even if it kills himself and every one around him (and it is up to Bone to ensure that Cutter doesn’t get them all killed!)

Cutter and Bone at a party that Cord is hosting.

What I thought made this an amazing B Movie is a couple of things:

1. Besides Jeff Bridges, another person that I was really impressed with in this movie is John Heard! The more movies that I see Mr. Heard in, the more impressed I am with his career! And this movie is no different!

2. I thought that you guys might find this to be rather interesting, but it turns out that this ‘Edgar’ award winning movie was based on the book called ‘Cutter & Bone’, by Newton Thornburg!

3. It turns out that this movie’s name, (which was originally intended to be called, ‘Cutter And Bone’) was changed to, ‘Cutter’s Way’, because United Artists Classics (The production house that made the movie), was afraid that the movie would be confused as being a comedy!

If your looking for a fun crime thriller to sink your teeth in to, then I highly recommend this one, it is a fun one!

Nathan Strack


Nathan Strack is a Writer/Director/Filmmaker & Owner/Founder of: Hell In Space, Strack Web Design Service & Strack Store.

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