Comprehensive Storyform

The following analysis reveals a comprehensive look at the Storyform for Klute. Unlike most of the analysis found here—which simply lists the unique individual story appreciations—this in-depth study details the actual encoding for each structural item. This also means it has been incorporated into the Dramatica Story Expert application itself as an easily referenced contextual example.

Story Dynamics

8 of the 12 essential questions

Main Character Resolve

Klute’s not convinced that Tom’s disappearance is what it looks like to everyone else:
KLUTE:  I don’t see it.  Tom Grunemann.  I’ve known him all my life.  He wouldn’t just, you know, go.
AGENT:  But he’s gone.
(Lewis and Lewis, p. 6)
Klute sticks with his belief in Tom, and sees “the girl” as the clue to solving the puzzle.  He stays close to her, getting to know her more intimately—ultimately using her as bait to trap Tom’s suspected killer, Cable.

Main Character Growth

While investigating leads in Tom’s disappearance, Klute stays close to Bree, holding out for the man who’s stalking her to make a mistake and reveal himself.

Main Character Approach

When his friend Tom goes missing, Klute goes to New York City to find him; When Bree won’t talk to him, he surreptitiously tape-records her conversations; Seeing a prowler through Bree’s skylight, Klute runs to the roof and gives chase; When the scared Bree moves back in with Frank, Klute physically attacks him; etc.

Main Character Mental Sex

Klute uses the linear reasoning techniques of the policeman that he is, tracking down anyone known to have contact with Tom and gathering evidence.

Story Driver

Klute starts the action by going to New York to find Tom; Bree closes the door in Klute’s face; Klute stalks and tape-records Bree; Visiting the junkie Arlyn makes Bree run back to Frank and drugs; The stalker looks through the skylight and plays Bree’s voice over the phone, sending her in fear to Klute; Klute fabricates a story about a little black book, setting a trap for Cable; etc.

Story Limit

Klute runs out of prostitutes who can connect Tom with the violent stalker.  Jane and Arlyn are murdered, and Bree is surely next.  Out of options, Klute investigates family and friends of Tom, and discovers that his employer Cable sent the obscene letters.

Story Outcome

The plan that Klute implements to find out what happened to Tom—sticking close to the girl—succeeds in unearthing Tom’s killer Cable, who confesses all to Bree before committing suicide.

Story Judgment

By story’s end, Klute has experienced an emotional and sexual connection with a woman (Bree) again, emerging from the isolation caused by his wife leaving him for another man.

Overall Story Throughline

""Looking For Tom Grunemann""

Overall Story Throughline

The objective story takes place in Bree’s New York City, a place where call girls like her manipulate johns like Cable, feeding their egos for money:
CABLE:  You just want me to keep on talking, don’t you?
BREE:  No, I don’t, I do understand, I really do.
CABLE:  Well, that’s what you all do.
In turn, Bree is manipulated by men like her “man” Frank, and by the stalker Cable.  Sharing Bree’s lifestyle, Klute comes to loosen up his puritan way of thinking about sexuality.

Overall Story Concern

The FBI imagines Tom left his small town wife Elaine for a more exciting life with a New York call girl; Klute and Elaine can’t picture Tom just up and leaving like that; Bree envisions a successful acting audition as her way out of prostitution; Cable kills Tom because he imagines he’ll expose his crime and destroy his career:
CABLE:  And it was the revulsion and the contempt I saw on his face, and the certainty that sooner or later he would use it against me within the company.

Sense of Self
Overall Story Issue

Bree sees herself as a great actress waiting to be discovered, and a woman who’s sexually irresistible to all men; Frank believes he’s doing his women a favor by living off them; Cable sees himself as superior to women, with a clean-cut reputation to protect; Klute thinks he’s the moral arbiter of what’s right and wrong.

State of Being
Overall Story Counterpoint

Bree’s reality is being pushed around by male casting directors and taken advantage of by johns and pimps; Frank’s a junkie pimp who drags his women down to his level; Cable’s an out-of-control sadist who hires Klute to catch him; Klute’s not as square as he looks, and is happier blowin’ in the wind with Bree.

Overall Story Thematic Conflict
Sense of Self vs.State of Being

Klute turns Bree’s world upside down so that by story’s end she’s not sure who she is any more; Frank’s revealed as the opportunist he really is; Cable can stand himself no longer and takes the fall for his crimes; Klute lets it all hang out, but he’s still a country rube to Bree.

Overall Story Problem

The FBI’s speculation that Tom sent the obscene letter and left his good life for a tawdry hooker sends Klute on a false trail of evidence, created by Cable to cover his crimes.

Overall Story Solution

Suspicious of Cable, Klute feeds him false information re: the little black book—knowing it’ll probably flush him out into the open if he’s guilty.

Overall Story Symptom

Having little to go on except Bree, Klute focuses on his proven ability as a policeman—staking out Bree’s place and tapping her phone, playing tough cop with Frank, checking the letter’s handwriting, etc.

Overall Story Response

Klute’s driven to find his missing friend, and to prove to Cable that he’d make a good detective in the big city; Bree’s unfulfilled as a call girl, and wants desperately to cross over to the acting profession; Frank tries to hide his past as a junkie pimp, and struggles to make it as a photographer and interior designer.

Overall Story Catalyst

Fearful of his future after being caught red-handed with Jane McKenna’s body, Cable murders Tom and starts a cover-up; Klute’s emotional attachment to his missing friend causes him to volunteer to search for Tom in New York; Bree’s horrified reaction to Arlyn’s reduced circumstances leads her to desert Klute for Frank; Klute’s concern over Arlyn’s murder and Bree’s being next in line leads him to investigate all who knew Tom; etc.

Overall Story Inhibitor

Cable’s trail of falsified evidence makes it hard for Klute to track down Tom; Frank’s hiding the fact that Arlyn Page set Bree up with the freak Cable, allows Bree to go on trusting Frank over Klute; Bree’s faking of an orgasm with Klute then taunting him with the truth threatens to distance him for good; etc.

Overall Story Benchmark

By becoming a Peeping Tom himself and doing surveillance on Bree, Klute learns how the big-city call girl business operates; When Arlyn Page is transformed into a floater, Klute changes his tack and investigates those who knew Tom—leading him to Cable; Realizing that he’s been set up and he’s about to become Klute’s collar, Cable opens up and confesses his crimes to Bree.

Additional Overall Story Information →
Overall Story Throughline Synopsis

“John Klute is a policeman who has come to New York, free-lance, to try to settle a missing persons’ case. It appears that the missing man may still be alive, and may be the source of obscene letters and telephone calls Bree has been receiving. Bree initially refuses to talk to Klute, but she eventually does confide in him, mostly because she’s frightened by midnight prowlers and wants his protection. The film examines their somewhat strange relationship, and at the same time functions on another level as a somewhat awkward thriller…
...But how do you develop a relationship between a prostitute with hang-ups and a square suburban cop? KLUTE does it by making the cop into a person of restraint and dignity, a man who is genuinely concerned about this girl he’s met. His attitude is what makes their love relationship so absorbing.”
(Roger Ebert, in Cinemania)

Overall Story Backstory

The real reason for Tom’s disappearance is revealed to Bree by Cable, just before the film’s climax:
CABLE:  You see, Tom Grunemann discovered me.  We were here on business together.  And he found me and Jane McKenna in my hotel room.  She had become hysterical and she started… screaming, and I guess I hit her, I don’t actually recall, it all happened so quickly.  Anyway, she fell and hit her head and that’s when Tom came in the room, I guess he must have heard her screaming.  But I never understood really why she did that, she had never screamed before.  And it was the revulsion and the contempt I saw on his face, and the certainty that sooner or later he would use it against me within the company.  I tried to endure that as long as I possibly could, you see.

Main Character Throughline

John Klute — Private investigator

Main Character Throughline

“Klute looks a bit rumpled, rural, and uncomfortable (...)”
(Lewis and Lewis, p. 4)
A “squarehead,” he’s especially awkward around women, having been recently cuckolded by his wife.  Klute’s a fish out of water, a small-town cop who’s been sent to the big city to fail in his investigation.

Main Character Concern

Doubtful that a friend and colleague he’s known for so long would have taken off with a call girl, Klute sets out to find out what really happened to Tom.

Main Character Issue

Klute’s not prepared to see his friend Tom go down in history as a sexual pervert, and volunteers to go to New York to uncover the truth.  He refuses to accept Bree’s cynical appraisal of men and relationships, and determines to prove her wrong—by loving her.

Main Character Counterpoint

When Klute figures out what Cable’s up to, he plants false information with him—knowing this will flush him out into the open where he can be defeated.  He succeeds in convincing Bree that she’s capable of loving and being loved, but ultimately can’t tell what the impulsive (ex-?) call girl will do next.

Main Character Thematic Conflict
Interdiction vs.Prediction

Klute succeeds in changing the outcome of other men’s plans—by nabbing Cable and clearing Tom—but when it comes to women, Bree has him wondering if he’s coming or going.

Main Character Problem

Klute’s personal life has been out of balance ever since his wife left him for another man.  Seeing the unfairness of Tom’s wife Elaine taking the fallout over his supposed desertion of her, moves Klute to put things right.  Getting involved with Bree, he sees the inequality of the sexes at work in Frank living off her toil and wants to right that wrong.

Main Character Solution

Klute’s proving that Cable, and not Tom, has been stalking and killing call girls restores Tom’s reputation and brings Cable to justice.  He fares less well with Bree: though he pries her from Frank’s clutches, he can’t persuade her to settle down to a stable family life with him.

Main Character Symptom

Because of his limited talent in dealing with women, especially sexually provocative ones like Bree, Klute focuses on what he does well—he comes across as the strong, moral fatherly figure of a policeman.

Main Character Response

Realizing his hands off, objective approach to Bree helps neither his case nor his desire to have a relationship with a woman again, softens Klute’s resistance and he lets her seduce him.

Main Character Unique Ability

While the FBI’s willing to accept the trail of evidence set before them pointing to Tom as the obscene letter writer, Klute refuses to go along with it and pursues the clues to their source.

Main Character Critical Flaw

Klute’s unhip clothing and methodical behavior betray him as a policeman to Bree; His small-town tactic of threatening to bring the Vice Squad down on Frank doesn’t work in New York; His conditioned response of protecting damsels in distress leads him to fall for Bree’s seduction; Klute’s ingrained habit of trusting the boss works against him when he reports to Cable everything he learns; etc.

Main Character Benchmark

Klute is hired to find Tom because he cares about restoring his friend’s good name; Disgusted by the thought of Bree spending her future in the clutches of Frank, Klute beats him up; Klute remains hopeful of his prospects with Bree, even though she turns him down.

Additional Main Character Information →
Main Character Description

“A man of about thirty-five, medium height, strongly built, a little chunky - rather deliberate in his movements, a Squarehead.”
(Lewis and Lewis, p. 1)

Main Character Throughline Synopsis

Puzzled by his friend Tom’s disappearance, Klute’s flattered to be given the job of finding him in New York.  With no experience as a detective in the big city, the case looks hopeless.  But Klute sticks to his one clue, Bree, like beard on an Amish.  He finds a lead in Arlyn Page, who reveals the stalker’s not Tom.  When she turns up dead, Klute investigates Tom’s colleagues and finds evidence implicating Cable.  Klute sets a trap for Cable, then arrives just in time to save Bree and force Cable to kill himself.  Klute gets the bad guy, but not the girl.

Main Character Backstory

While the film concentrates on the character of Bree, the screenplay offers more background on Klute:
AGENT:  You knew the subject.
KLUTE:  Yeah.
AGENT:  Would you classify yourself as best friend—close friend—friend—acquaintance - ?
KLUTE:  Close friend.  We grew up together—we’d still play golf.
(Lewis and Lewis, p. 5)
ELAINE: —but it happens to the best they say.  I hear your wife’s left you for somebody!  I’m sorry Johnnie—that was awful to say.  (...)  My husband left me, he cleared out, the abandoned wife.  And now every man I see—my God, the cleaning man could have me!
She catches his hand, draws it up toward her breast.
ELAINE:  Johnnie, come on—a fine cold day and the kids are outside—come on, the other room.
She feels the resistance, lets go of his hand.  Then she lifts her own hands in front of her face, starts quietly to cry—then more loudly, in total despair.  Klute watches, stricken and helpless, wanting to touch and comfort her, but restrained by a kind of prudence.
(Lewis and Lewis, p. 10)

Influence Character Throughline

Bree Daniels — Call girl

Influence Character Throughline

Colored by a lifetime of abusive men—her molesting uncle, her conniving lover Frank, the sadistic Cable, the cruel theater directors—Bree has developed a fixed attitude towards them: Dominate or be dominated.

Influence Character Concern

Bree has tried to forget the freak who beat her nearly to death, but he’s come back to remind her—by playing a tape recording of their tryst over and over again.

Influence Character Issue

Bree’s cynical beliefs about men are called into question by Klute—he’s a cop who doesn’t want to bust her, and a man who doesn’t want sex with her even when it’s free.  She begins to suspect there may be more to relationships than physicality, and even stops tricking—but for how long?

Influence Character Counterpoint

All of her life, men have proven to Bree that they’re only interested in her for her body and what it can do for them.  She’s come to see men as falling into two types—johns who pay her for sex, and cops who try to put her out of business.

Influence Character Thematic Conflict
Suspicion vs.Evidence

Despite the evidence that Klute has her best interests at heart, a nagging self-doubt holds Bree back from committing to him fully.

Influence Character Problem

Bree keeps risking her self esteem by going to demeaning cattle calls and cold readings—and never getting the role—looking for that one big break that could lead to a career as an actress.

Influence Character Solution

Bree needs to realize she doesn’t have the professional acting experience or talent needed to ever succeed—that her acting range is limited to the role of hooker—and she’d probably be better off moving on to some other goals.

Influence Character Symptom

It baffles Klute that Bree seems inwardly content with her unwholesome life, balancing her struggle as an actress with her skill at her paying job of call girl.

Influence Character Response

When Klute reveals that the freak was sent to her by a colleague, Bree’s angered by his turning the life she knew upside down.  She also feels he’s emotionally a destabilizing influence on her, and without him she may regain control of her old comfortable life.

Influence Character Unique Ability

Because he walks and talks like a cop while claiming not to be one, Bree doubts Klute’s intentions and shuts him out; When Klute rejects Bree’s offer of sex, she’s suspicious of his manhood; Based on their widely different lifestyles, Bree doubts she and Klute would make a good couple.

Sense of Self
Influence Character Critical Flaw

Bree thinks of herself as a great actress, one who can control the scene—especially if the other actor’s a john.  But as her Irish-accented monologue shows, she’s unconvincing under that slick surface.  In the climactic scene, Cable sees through her artifice and almost kills her.

Influence Character Benchmark

Initially Bree has no desire for men, seeing them as johns; After Klute’s nursing of her, she starts an honest relationship with him and gives up tricking; At the market, Bree develops hope of starting a regular family with Klute; Finally, Bree’s not sure of what she wants—but it’s not darning Klute’s socks in Tuscarora.

More Influence Character Information →
Influence Character Description

“A long line of other ACTORS, ACTRESSES sit in folding chairs crookedly along the wall—in near-total silence (no one’s yet arrived to tell them anything), lonely and hostile.  BREE arrives at the edge of the congregation, wonders if someone will move over and make room - one or two glance briefly up at her; she smiles diffidently—decides apparently not.  She folds down the first seat of the next rack of chairs, sits.”
(Lewis and Lewis, p. 7)

Influence Character Throughline Synopsis

To Bree, men are either “johns” who she manipulates, or pimps who use her.  She prefers tricking over acting because she gets to direct the action.  While she distrusts cops like Klute, she comes to appreciate the loving care a decent square like Klute can offer.  She briefly flirts with the idea of a family life, but can’t see herself leaving to darn Klute’s socks in Tuscarora—and tells her New York psychiatrist to expect her back next week.

Influence Character Backstory

Little of Bree’s backstory is revealed in the film, but in the screenplay we learn:
BREE: I was always getting shoved into different children’s homes.  My mother would keep me a few months, then she’d stuff me back in.  Then she went crazy for good and all—when I was eleven—then my aunt and uncle took custody.[...]  And, oh, I thought that was pretty great.  They had their own kids, but they fixed up a room for me, and some books and some toys—they even had a night-light so I wouldn’t get those dreams—just, you know, great.[...]  Then—uh—I woke up one night—a week later this was, about a week later,—and there’s Uncle standing there.  And he said, oh, something to the effect of he knew I was lonely; he’d come to cuddle me.[...].  You know, I thought that was great too, someone to cuddle me.—Eleven years old, I learned to do everything.
(Lewis and Lewis, p. 84)
BREE:  I met Frank when I started modeling.  He was a photographer.  And—look, he didn’t ruin me or anything; I was already taking calls.  But he had this project, this picture magazine he was going to start, and we started saving up together for that—(drily)—it takes a lot of money, you understand—and when he got it going we’d be married.  And - uh - it was like that a year; and then he explained to me he’d got another girl giving him money; and that was quite reasonable too—he’d get the magazine started and we’d get married that much sooner.[...]  And - oh - eventually he had three of us, going for him, and I still made that seem all right to myself—I know you wouldn’t understand that, someone on the outside you wouldn’t understand.  But then, well, this Grunemann thing happened, the fuzz on me, jail.  And he let me take that—for him—and I did.  Because he’s an addict; they could beat him for narcotics, that’s a longer stretch.  But that was enough - finally - I’d had it; I cut out.
(Lewis and Lewis, p. 62)

Relationship Story Throughline

""Cop Finds Hooker Arresting""

Relationship Story Throughline

Klute and Bree come together because she’s the only lead he has to the disappearance of Tom.  He watches her day-to-day activities, and persuades her to join his endeavor by taking him to meet people with who Tom may have had contact.

Relationship Story Concern

Bree can’t understand why Klute doesn’t want her sexually like other men do; Klute can’t fathom Bree’s attraction to the sleazy pimp Frank; After Klute nurses Bree back to health, she understands that he likes her as she is, warts and all; Bree finally realizes that she and Klute have nowhere to go as a couple.

Relationship Story Issue

Based on a lifetime of abuse at their hands, Bree’s learned how to deal with men who want her sex—make them pay for it.  She’s accustomed to support only from others in the tricking business, like Frank and Arlyn Page, and is suspicious of the guileless Klute.

Relationship Story Counterpoint

When Klute confuses her—by telling her that it was her friend Arlyn who sent her the freak, and by loving her for who she is—Bree responds by running away from him and the emotional turmoil he’s stirring within her.

Relationship Story Thematic Conflict
Conditioning vs.Instinct

Being a victim to men’s desires for so long has conditioned Bree to run from those who truly love her, towards those who would prey on her—her natural instincts as a person have become reversed.

Relationship Story Problem

In her voice-over confessions to her psychiatrist, Bree constantly contemplates the strangeness of her and Klute as a couple:
BREE:  What could ever happen for us?  We’re so different.
BREE:  [...]  do you think I might even actually make it?  The square life?
(Lewis and Lewis, p. 146)

Relationship Story Solution

Having learned of Bree’s tragic upbringing and experiencing her caring side, Klute abandons what he’s been taught about call girls and opens himself up to her—hoping she’ll change her beliefs about him.

Relationship Story Symptom

Bree assumes she’s not out for a conventional married life, having no capacity for “housekeeping in Tuscarora, darning socks” for Klute.

Relationship Story Response

After watching Bree read for a play, Klute tells her how much he liked her performance—encouraging her efforts to become a legitimate actress.

Relationship Story Catalyst

As an example of how “interpretation” accelerates the subjective story, when Klute moves closer to Bree to fool the stalker on the roof, Bree interprets his hug as an appreciation of her charms.

Relationship Story Inhibitor

No matter how much Bree enjoys going straight with Klute, something keeps pulling her back to Frank’s clutches; Bree runs from Klute after seeing Arlyn Page’s degradation—and her own probable destiny; Bree sees it as inevitable that she and Klute won’t last as a couple and she’ll be back in New York next week.

Relationship Story Benchmark

Klute initially makes no progress with Bree, who won’t give information to a cop; After Klute gives her back the tapes of her phone calls, Bree volunteers her help in return; etc.

Additional Relationship Story Information →
Relationship Story Throughline Synopsis

Big city call girl Bree initially closes the door on small town cop and squarehead Klute, so he watches and tape records her work activities.  She offers sex to get the tapes back, but he’s not having any of that.  Scared by a stalker, Bree lets Klute into her life and seduces him—then lets him know he’s been had.  Becoming more afraid when her colleagues get killed, Bree deserts Klute for her ex-pimp Frank and his drugs.  Klute nurses her back to a sober state, and they find emotional and sexual satisfaction in each other.  But Bree’s self-destructive streak prevents her from trusting herself with Klute, and the story ends with Bree confused as to a possible future with the willing Klute.

Relationship Story Backstory

Policeman John Klute is a moral force in small town Tuscarora, rural Pennsylvania—home of the clean-living Amish.  His wife’s desertion of their marriage for another man has left him isolated from, and untrusting of, women.  Call girl Bree Daniels lost her ability to trust men long ago.  Treating them all as “johns,” she prefers the honesty of her ex-pimp, Frank, to the repressed hangups of the judgmental Klute.

Additional Story Points

Key Structural Appreciations

Overall Story Goal

Everyone’s concerned with finding out whether or not Tom has gone AWOL, implementing an impulsive plan to run off with a call girl, as the FBI suspects.  Klute is ostensibly hired by Cable because:
CABLE:  He knew Tom, and he has a great many ideas.
In reality, Cable hired him to fail.  Klute’s main idea is to stay close to the girl, which he does, and with Bree’s help and connections, he tracks down everybody with who Tom had contact.  This ultimately unravels Cable’s master plan, which was implemented to cover up his murder of Tom and also of Jane McKenna.

Overall Story Consequence

If Klute never finds out what happened to Tom, he’ll be forced to realize his limitations as a small-town cop in the big city.  Cable will understand he has free reign to continue torturing and killing call girls—including Bree.

Overall Story Cost

Every time Cable plays his tape recording over the phone, Bree’s forced to remember the “freak” who beat her up; Because she remembers the “freak” wasn’t Tom, but an older guy, Arlyn Page is murdered by Cable; While Cable enjoys reliving the torture of Arlyn Page, Bree listens to the tape and suffers in silence; When Bree comes on sexually to Klute a second time, he remembers how she humiliated him the first time by faking an orgasm:
BREE:  I never come with a john.

Overall Story Dividend

Frank the pimp gets to relive his glory days when Bree comes out of the past to be one of his girls again; Bree enjoys play-acting a character from an earlier era to entertain Mr. Goldfarb; Cable takes pleasure in replaying audiotapes of his past sadistic crimes.

Overall Story Requirements

Before he can find out what happened to Tom, Klute must change his puritanical stance and start identifying with Bree and her lifestyle.  Instead of thinking like a methodical cop, he must loosen up and “let it all hang out.”

Overall Story Prerequisites

To gain entry into Bree’s night-world, Klute has to first win the trust of Bree and her colleagues.

Overall Story Preconditions

Before being introduced to the people who can help him track down Tom, Klute first needs to let Bree have her way with him and satisfy her desire for control over him as a man.

Overall Story Forewarnings

When Klute sees Arlyn Page’s body being dragged from the river, he know the future looks bleak for everyone who had contact with Tom—especially Bree.  As Cable plays the audiotape of Jane McKenna’s murder and confesses, Bree realizes she’s to be the next victim.

Plot Progression

Dynamic Act Appreciations

Overall Story

Overall Story Signpost 1

Trask and the FBI have the idea that Tom has run away to a secret life in New York; Cable conceives of hiring Klute to find Tom, as he knows him and he “has a great many ideas.”

Overall Story Journey 1 from Conceiving to Being

Clueless Klute pursues his single idea, the call girl, by acting like her stalker himself; Confident that Klute thinks Tom’s still alive, Cable plays the role he’s created; Dismayed over her failed auditions, Bree returns to tricking, play-acting for Mr. Goldfarb.

Overall Story Signpost 2

Klute moves closer to Bree and hugs her, appearing to respond to her seductiveness—but actually he’s pretending, to fool the stalker he’s seen through the skylight.

Overall Story Journey 2 from Being to Becoming

Frank makes like an interior designer, but really has designs on making Bree his again; Disturbed to find Klute making progress, Cable becomes a serial killer; Triumphant over seducing Klute, Bree panics when she sees how low Arlyn Page has sunk and returns to Frank.

Overall Story Signpost 3

Pulled from the river by the police, Arlyn Page has been transformed into a bloated floater; Klute’s notes reveal his concern that Bree will become the next victim.

Overall Story Journey 3 from Becoming to Conceptualizing

Having become a true detective, Klute visualizes a way to get the killer by checking everyone who knew Tom; Having come out of her drug low, Bree envisions the family at the market as a possible way out of her lifestyle; Becoming more obsessed with Bree, Cable implements his plan to get closer to her.

Overall Story Signpost 4

Klute implements his plan to entrap Cable by telling him about Jane McKenna’s incriminating little black book.  Unfortunately, it also gives Cable the idea that Bree has the book, and he envisions killing her as his escape plan.

Main Character

Main Character Signpost 1

At Elaine’s side, Klute is interviewed about his relationship with Tom and is informed of the current status of the investigation.

Main Character Journey 1 from Present to Progress

Flattered at being rated the best man for the job, Klute pursues every lead to its dead end—until he unearths Arlyn Page and her ‘freak’ client.

Main Character Signpost 2

Klute reports his progress in the case to Cable, telling him they must pursue the Arlyn Page connection.

Main Character Journey 2 from Progress to Past

Moved by Bree’s vulnerability, Klute feels responsible and resumes his manly protective role towards a woman again.

Main Character Signpost 3

Klute returns to Bree’s apartment to find Frank there, and is angry that she’s going back to her old lifestyle with him.

Main Character Journey 3 from Past to Future

Abandoned by Bree, Klute desperately tracks her down to prevent another murder by Cable.

Main Character Signpost 4

Klute arrives in time to save Bree from Cable, but it’s not enough to inspire her confidence in a future together.

Influence Character

Influence Character Signpost 1

In her psychiatrist’s office, Bree recalls her experiences being used by men, and how she prefers tricking over acting—it puts the control in her hands.

influence Character Journey 1 from Memory to Preconscious

Afraid that a former john may be stalking her, Bree reacts by accepting protection from John Klute.

Influence Character Signpost 2

Seeing Arlyn Page in such a low state, Bree impulsively flees from Klute’s car back to lean on Frank’s shoulder and get high.

Influence Character Journey 2 from Preconscious to Subconscious

Bree gives up her automatic reflex to trick when she feels the need to control, and enjoys her relationship with the nurturing Klute.

Influence Character Signpost 3

Shopping with Klute at the outdoor market, Bree gazes longingly at a happy family, then tugs on Klute’s shirttails like a child.

Influence Character Journey 3 from Subconscious to Conscious

Her knickers in a knot over Cable’s visit to her apartment, Bree decides to leave Klute for Frank again.

Influence Character Signpost 4

Bree considers a future with Klute—not possible—and tells her psychiatrist she’ll probably be back next week.

Relationship Story

Relationship Story Signpost 1

Klute taps Bree’s phone, and watches her comings and goings as a call girl.

Relationship Story Journey 1 from Doing to ObtainingFascinated by Bree's line of work, Klute immerses himself in her world in an attempt to get more leads; Frustrated that her bodily charms don't entice Klute, Bree talks her way into his bed.
Relationship Story Signpost 2

Bree seduces Klute, attaining the power over him she’s long wanted:
BREE:  Well what’re you fretting about?  You mean because you didn’t get me there?  You can’t expect that—I mean Frank, yes, he’d get me there all the time—but not with a John.
(Lewis and Lewis, p. 73)

Relationship Story Journey 2 from Obtaining to Learning

Taken aback over being had by a hooker, Klute learns how easy it is for Bree to get hooked on drugs again; Having sunk back into her drug lifestyle with Frank, Bree learns what it’s like to be cared for (by Klute.)

Relationship Story Signpost 3

Bree learns her feelings toward Klute are changing, as she confesses to her psychiatrist:
BREE:  I enjoy making love with him.

Relationship Story Journey 3 from Learning to Understanding

Though joyous over her straight relationship with Klute, Bree realizes she hasn’t changed when she leaves him for Frank; Distressed to learn Bree may be the next victim, Klute realizes he can’t protect or domesticate her.

Relationship Story Signpost 4

In her voiceover at the film’s end, Bree realizes that the relationship between her and Klute probably won’t last:
BREE:  I told him what I have to do, I think he understands.

Plot Progression Visualizations

Dynamic Act Schematics


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