While the Watergate scandal filled the headlines, Alan J. Pakula's 1974 thriller took its inspiration from the conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination. Journalist Joe Frady (Warren Beatty) misses witnessing the assassination of a senator at Seattle's Space Needle, but his newswoman former girlfriend Lee Carter (Paula Prentiss) was there.
Even after a government commission concludes that it was a freak lone assassin, Lee tells Joe that she fears for her life since other witnesses keep dying. After she too turns up dead, Joe investigates, travelling to the small town where another witness has mysteriously expired.
Stumbling on a corporate identity for the killers, Joe decides to dig deeper by infiltrating the Parallax Corporation as one of their hired assassins. As Joe becomes increasingly isolated in his assumed identity, he discovers what Parallax is all about -- but Parallax knows all about Joe too.
Made between Klute (1971) and All the President's Men (1976), The Parallax View was the second film in Pakula's paranoia trilogy; it proved too dark even for a 1974 audience that embraced such other challenging films of that year as The Godfather, Part II and Chinatown, making The Parallax View the sole flop of Pakula's trilogy.