Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Cast: Robert Duvall, Treat Williams, Kathryn Harrold
Spoilers Within: No
Originally posted 30th June2016 on Letterboxd.
As is evident by the amount of people on Letterboxd who have seen it (47, me included), The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper is not a film you go searching for, nor is it really in the interests of those trying to be a Robert Duvall or Treat Williams completist. It was very late night on ‘True Movies Uncut’ and being curious enough about the entire D.B. Cooper legend (see here for everything you’d need to know) and lazy enough to not change the channel, I watched the entire thing.
It’s no surprise that the film is entirely created from liberties with the true story, in fact, the synopsis needn’t really say that it’s a ‘speculation’ on the fate of the ‘modern day Robin Hood’ (here shown to be a country bumpkin) as he’s eluded capture ever since parachuting from a passenger plane with $20,000 in unmarked bills. It’s a terrific story and one that deserves its dues in the cinematic world, but this definitely isn’t the one to do have done it justice. (I was hoping that the finale of Mad Men would resolve with Don Draper becoming Cooper, as this popular fan theory suggested).
It’s not untrue to say that The Pursuit of… is a jaunty, silly, made-for-TV style movie that is elevated by Duvall and Williams, but it’s a major mess in storytelling and intrigue, and one that will probably stay as unwatched as it always has been. That is unless someone else happens upon it on late-night television and finds themselves curious enough to keep it on.
I hope that one day someone takes what the authorities know about the fabled escapee and make a more thrilling film that can be seen by the masses, because for now, this is the best there is.