chapter  22
17 Pages

The Prostitute in the Film Klute: A Self-Psychological Analysis: Gordon A. Schulz

One of the beauties of art is its potential to portray life realistically and to offer insight into human experience. This is arguably the finest merit of the 1971 film Klute, a psychological thriller produced and directed by Alan J. Pakula, written by Andy and Dave Lewis, and starring Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland. On the surface, Klute is a rather conventional Hollywood detective story about a small-town private investigator, John Klute, who comes to the aid of a high-class call girl, Bree Daniels, who is being stalked by a sadistic killer in New York City. On a deeper level, the mistitled film is a sophisticated character study of Bree, an aspiring but unsuccessful actress and model, who struggles, with the help of Klute and a psychiatrist, to give up her life of prostitution. Played by Jane Fonda in an intelligent and fascinating performance that won her an Academy Award, Bree is a compelling and dynamic portrait of a deeply troubled and psychologically complex woman involved in the difficult process of personal change. Initially a tough, cynical, and manipulative character who prefers the emotional detachment of "the life," Bree eventually comes to appreciate the emotional intimacy of a mutual love relationship with Klute.