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Rabbit Hole: The '70s-'80s Thrillers That Inspired The Show

As far as career peaks and valleys go, Kiefer Sutherland is an actor who's seen his share of each. But when the actor is riding high, he's proven to be one of the more effortlessly engaging stars to emerge from the 1980s. One look at his resume from the '80s, '90s, and beyond will confirm he's also had a knack for booking projects that speak to the social and geopolitical turmoils of each era. And that's just what the actor has done with his new series "Rabbit Hole." Part technophobic thriller and part classic spy tale, the series hit Paramount+ with largely positive comparisons to similarly-themed projects from decades past. And per the star himself, those comparisons are pretty accurate.  

Sutherland admitted as much during a recent Entertainment Weekly interview. He did so in response to the mention of series creators Glenn Ficarra and John Requa citing classic thrillers like 1975's "Three Days of the Condor" and 1974's "The Parallax View" as influences on "Rabbit Hole." Sutherland was quick to respond to the comparisons with, "'Parallax View' and 'Three Days of the Condor'? Absolutely." The actor went on to admit Ficarra and Requa came to him with a few other influences he was less hot on, before adding, "But definitely those." And according to Sutherland, the era-specific influences on "Rabbit Hole" don't stop there. 

Kiefer Sutherland claims Three Days of the Condor and The Parallax View are just two of the thrillers that inspired Rabbit Hole

If you've watched the first few episodes of "Rabbit Hole," the paranoid fingerprints of "Three Days of the Condor" and "The Parallax View" are more than evident. Kiefer Sutherland is, of course, hardly new to such fare either, having fronted the hit thriller "24" for eight full seasons on Fox. Indeed, even that series likely owed much to the classics listed by the "Rabbit Hole" creators. But Sutherland went on to add that the collective works of Michael Caine from the 1980s were a big influence on his own contributions to the show, telling Entertainment Weekly, "Pretty much every movie that Michael Caine made during the '80s was also an espionage thriller. It's what I grew up watching, and it's what really grabbed me."

Sutherland further named 1970s thrillers like "Marathon Man," and "The French Connection" as influences on "Rabbit Hole." He even cited his love of the former film as the sole reason he signed on to appear in 1996's "Eye For an Eye," directed by "Marathon Man" helmer John Schlesinger. The actor then posited such thrillers generally reflect the turmoil of the eras in which they were created. He went on to note "Rabbit Hole" was created in a similar vane, stating "I've always likened this era — and I'm going back to the mid-90s to now — when you've had this incredible technological boom that's moving much faster than we evolve as human beings." And that particularly tricky conundrum will no doubt continue to fuel the series' technophobic, white-knuckle narrative.