Format: Criterion Channel
Director: Arthur Penn
46 years on, it's curious to watch a movie that was doing 1970's meta-commentary on hard-boiled detective stories of the 20's - 1950's in books and movies (and radio and early TV), and know that we're about as far from 1975 as Night Moves was from the earliest Black Mask detective stories. We've also processed and analyzed the 1970's movie era as much as any as directors leveraged the 1960's collapse of the studio system to tell stories TV could not, carrying with them the cynicism of the era.
The obvious comparison is to The Long Goodbye, based on one of the final Chandler-penned Philip Marlowe novels. But while that book was a metacommentary on... any number of things even in its 1950's release window and lended itself naturally to a 1970's adaptation, Night Moves exists in our world, in which everyone knows who Sam Spade is from the books and whatnot, and makes jokes about detectives thinking they're heroes of those books.*