Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
United Kingdom, 1984. Zenith Entertainment, Recorded Picture Company, Central Productions Ltd.. Screenplay by Peter Prince. Cinematography by Mike Molloy. Produced by Jeremy Thomas. Music by Paco de Lucía. Production Design by Andrew Sanders. Costume Design by Marit Allen. Film Editing by Mick Audsley. Independent Spirit Awards 1985. Toronto International Film Festival 1984.
British criminal Terence Stamp goes into witness protection in Spain after ratting on a fellow gangster and his buddies. Now living the high life in seclusion, his idyll is disturbed when hit man John Hurt and young punk Tim Roth show up and take him on a trip to Paris where they plan to have him meet with retribution from the now-paroled victim of his testimony. The journey from one place to the next is anything but straightforward as human vulnerabilities, desires and conflicts come into play and set these characters in various directions including towards each other. This early Stephen Frears film has got it all, from blistering personalities to stunning photography, punctuated by brilliant dialogue and a host of impressive performances including the above-mentioned actors as well as Laura del Sol as the hapless woman they pick up along the way. It’s a quiet, methodical movie that burns with sexy intensity and never overstates itself, but it is riveting from beginning to end. Look for a brief appearance by Jim Broadbent.