The Potato Knoll

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Oliver Stone -- and Sidney Blumenthal -- take note: Right in the middle of Ken Starr's finest twelve hours as prosecutor-in-the-limelight (and admittedly that's not saying much), Hollywood director Alan J. Pakula dies in a gruesome car crash. Coincidence? Maybe.

Exhibit A: All the President's Men (1976). Maybe not as good as it could have been, but paced with that cool 70's integrity and packed with names: Redford, Hoffman, Holbrook, Robards. Still the best Watergate flashback around -- unless you know Sam Dash.

Exhibit B: The Parallax View (1974). The political thriller, ratcheted up a notch. Burned-out journalist Warren Beatty stumbles onto a political assassination ring, and wacky 70's liberalism ensues. No Manchurian Candidate, but that's more up John McCain's alley anyway.

Exhibit C: Klute (1971). Since these impeachment hearings have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with sex, a great prostitute movie like this naturally wouldn't interest the shadowy figures who may or not be behind all this. Or . . . would it?

Frankenheimer had his Island of Dr. Moreau; Pakula had The Pelican Brief (1993). A truly awful conspiracy movie. But that, certainly, doesn't justify his violent disposal. Or . . . does it?