The Marseille Contract (1974)    0 Stars

“They Live the Sweet Life But They Play a Game of Sudden Death!”

The Marseille Contract (1974)
The Marseille Contract (1974)


Director: Robert Parrish

Cast: Michael Caine, Anthony Quinn, James Mason

Synopsis: When a US intelligence agent is unable to bring a ruthless drug baron to justice, he resorts to hiring a contract killer. But the man he is put in contact with turns out to be an old friend.






Anthony Quinn (Heller in Pink Tights, Lawrence of Arabia) is a cynical US intelligence agent who takes it personally when one of his men, with whose wife he has been sleeping, is murdered by the henchman of a drugs baron (James Mason – The Mackintosh Man, The Boys from Brazil). He hires a hit-man (Michael Caine – Interstellar, Kingsman: The Secret Service) to take out the baron, who just happens to be an old friend.

The Marseille Contract is one of those international co-productions that were so common back in the 60s and 70s. Most of them were pretty ordinary, and this is no exception. There’s plenty of action, and a top-notch trio of leading men who nevertheless seem incapable of breathing life into a sometimes confusing plot. Quinn’s character doesn’t seem to know what he wants. Midway through the film he decides to call off the hit he has sanctioned, but we’re given no real insight into why; Caine’s killer lives a James Bond sort of lifestyle, racing leggy women around winding mountain roads in souped-up sports cars one minute, and casually pushing lowlife from the roof of a high rise building the next. Mason plays an urbane drug smuggler with absolute professionalism while paradoxically giving the impression that he has absolutely no interest in the lines he is speaking.

(Reviewed 14th February 2012)

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