84 From ’84: Tightrope

Tightrope header

Tightrope

Tightrope Poster

New Orleans single dad and cop Wes Block goes after a serial rapist-killer, but when he gets too close the hunter suddenly becomes the hunted.

Cast:

  • Clint Eastwood as Det. Wes Block
  • Geneviève Bujold as Beryl Thibodeaux
  • Dan Hedaya as Det. Joe Molinari
  • Alison Eastwood as Amanda Block
  • Jenny Beck as Penny Block
  • Marco St. John as Leander Rolfe

1984 viewing

I’d never get in the theater to see this in 1984. Even in my town where none of the movie ticket takers really cared if you were old enough to see an ‘R’ rated movie.

I’m a big fan of Clint Eastwood, even in 1984, from the spaghetti westerns to the Dirty Harry movies and Every Which Way but Loose.

Let’s continue our 1984 Blockbuster countdown with #13 on the list, Tightrope

40th Anniversary Re-watch

Tightrope was a decent hit in 1984, it is #13 on our Blockbuster countdown. I’m sure the star power of Clint Eastwood was part of the reason.

After watching this movie I’m sure I’ve seen parts of it over the years, just not the entire movie.

Clint Eastwood plays New Orleans Detective Wes Block, not San Francisco Detective Harry Callahan. Block is investigating a serial killer who is targeting hookers in the French Quarter. Unlike Dirty Harry, Block isn’t as cut and dry, he’s more, complicated.

While investigating the murders he sleeps with the prostitutes, he really has no qualms about it either. He’s a a broken, sleazy, man who doesn’t respect woman anymore. During the movie Block meets Beryl Thibodeaux (Geneviève Bujold) a feminist who runs a rape prevention program. Block is attracted to Thibodeaux but he has a difficult time respecting and loving women. His past has made him hard and bitter.

Thibodeaux isn’t Block’s type to say the least. She’s not flashy, doesn’t wear makeup and isn’t a fan of cops. Maybe that’s why Block is attracted to her. The movie covers Block’s arc from scorned husband to bitter man to respecting woman again.

Tightrope Alison Eastwood

The movie has a great villain. He’s intriguing and has no boundaries. Not only is the serial killer preying on women, he’s preying on women Block has a relationship with. The killer gets bold and starts stalking and harassing Block’s daughter.

I thought Block should have picked up on the serial killer motives, are at least his obvious grudge against Block quicker than he did.

Tightrope is a fantastic thriller, Eastwood is great as Block and his transformation throughout the movie is great to watch. I’ve never seen Geneviève Bujold before, she did a good job in this movie. Eastwood’s daughter in the movie is also his daughter Alison, in real life as well.

The suspenseful scenes are filmed well and take their time to build the suspense for the audience. I credit that to Eastwood. The comedy scenes are great as well, some are played for the obvious laugh, while others are more subdued.

Favorite Line:

There’s a darkness inside all of us. You, me, and the man down the street. Some have it under control. Others act it out. The rest of us try to walk a tightrope between the two.

While Richard Tuggle was contractually the director and gets the director credit, it’s widely report Eastwood was upset with Tuggle’s slowness and took over directing the movie. Tuggle only has three film credits to his name, Tightrope, he wrote Escape from Alcatraz (1979) also starring Clint Eastwood and directed Out of Bounds (1986) starring Anthony Michael Hall.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and would recommend it to anyone. It’s one of Eastwood’s best performances to date. It certainly earned it’s ‘R’ rating, if that has any impact on your decision to watch it.

If you like Eastwood movies or thrillers in general add this to your 40th Anniversary play list.

Tightrope was released on 17 August 1984. The movie made over $48 million, making it the 13th highest grossing movie of 1984

Did you watch Tightrope? If so let me know your thoughts in the comments below or on X(Twitter). The main Geekster channel is @TRNSocial and I’m @MileHighSamurai You can also find me on Bluesky @MileHighSamurai

8/10 stars

Check out the entire 84 From ’84 movie series

Check out all the Blockbusters from 1984

About Pitfall Gary 147 Articles
Just your average Gen X'er. Born in the 70s and raised in the Decade of Decadence! I rode my bike without a helmet and was home when the street lights came on. I love to reminisce about the good ol' days; Movies, TV, music, if it happened in my childhood I'll share it with you.

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