HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
   
 
  Scorpio The Hitman And Him
Year: 1973
Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Paul Scofield, John Colicos, Gayle Hunnicutt, J.D. Cannon, Joanne Linville, Mel Stewart, Vladek Sheybal, Mary Maude, Jack Colvin, James Sikking, Burke Byrnes, William Smithers, Shmuel Rodensky, Sandor Elès, Frederick Jaeger
Genre: Drama, Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Cross (Burt Lancaster) is an old hand at the assassination game: he taught Scorpio (Alain Delon) everything he knows, which is plenty. He works for the C.I.A. in making sure American foreign policy is enforced with as much muscle as is necessary, in their view at any rate, and their latest job is to target a Middle Eastern leader who was getting too big for his boots, even though he was on the United States' side, which seems a fair job for them to carry out. But it triggers more than unrest internationally - it also means Cross knows too much.

And what do they do with men (or women) who know too much? Well, you can guess that Cross is not long for this world seeing as how he is mixing with some very murderous people and has been since before the Second World War, but it is Scorpio who is ordered to take him down, which in theory should have led to the sort of suspense engendered to a reasonable degree in director Michael Winner's The Mechanic a short while before, but actually in this case developed into what could best be described as murk and lots of it. We were in John le Carré territory here, except it wasn't enough to have the characters discussing their situation in gloomy rooms.

Therefore we also got some action sequences into the bargain, which had the effect of waking up those in the audience in danger of nothing more than nodding off thanks to the somnambulistic pace Winner had lent proceedings. So rather than deepening the intrigue, the general effect was that you would begin to reject the spy shenanigans as so impenetrable that it wasn't worth the effort to work out why this character wanted this other character dead, and this one wanted both of them dead, and someone else... You get the idea, and this cynicism could have badly done with a sense of humour.

As it was there was far too much despondency which not even the admittedly well-staged action could compensate for. When Cross discovers he has a price on his head, he goes underground, as if he were not far enough underground already, and meets up in Europe with his Soviet opposite number Zharkov, played by Paul Scofield - there's another respected Shakespearean thespian on the Agency's side in John Colicos, although he's probably beter known for being the original Baltar in Battlestar Galactica. Worth mentioning is that for reasons best known to themselves the actors pronounce Schofield's role's name as "Jack-off", which is unfortunate if nothing else.

Anyway, the succession of terse, meaningful conversations about everyone's impending doom does grow wearing, particularly as by the end it appears nobody in the film was innocent except perhaps the cats Scorpio is preoccupied with, his chief personality trait in light of having little else to demonstrate he's not all bad. For Lancaster, apparently he wasn't too pleased with this movie, but he does his usual professional job and you can imagine him relishing the chance to discuss motivations at great length, either with himself or anyone he could get to listen. Even at his advancing years, he proved himself a convincing man of action, and his sheer physical presence goes a long way to filling in what the script failed to sketch out adequately. But mainly the trouble was this was so deadly (literally) serious that while the hardened espionage movie fan could get something out of this, the alternative was that Scorpio was pretty dull overall. Music by Jerry Fielding, sounding as if this was more exciting than it was.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1721 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Michael Winner  (1935 - 2013)

Opinionated British producer-director whose early comedies - You Must Be Joking, The Jokers, I'll Never Forget Whatsisname - were promising enough, but come the seventies he had settled into a pattern of overblown thrillers.

Of these, Death Wish was a huge hit, and Winner directed two similar sequels. Other films included horrors (The Nightcomers, The Sentinel), Westerns (Lawman, Chato's Land), thrillers (Scorpio, Dirty Weekend) and disastrous comedies (Bullseye!). Also a restaurant critic.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: