Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
Alternate Title: The Marseille Contract
United Kingdom/France, 1974. Kettledrum Films, PECF. Screenplay by Judd Bernard. Cinematography by Douglas Slocombe. Produced by Judd Bernard. Music by Roy Budd. Production Design by Willy Holt. Costume Design by Andree Demarez. Film Editing by Willy Kemplen.
Anthony Quinn plays an American DEA agent working in Paris who has been trying for years to take down a drug lord (James Mason) who keeps eluding him. Exasperated that his methods keep failing, Quinn is convinced by a local cop to use discretionary funds that no one will miss to hire a hitman to take Mason out. He does and finds himself hiring Michael Caine to do the job, who it turns out is an old friend of his from his younger days. Caine follows Mason to get the job done, but Quinn changes his mind and decides he wants Mason alive, so he tries to cancel the contract and have Caine arrested but only ends up making a mess. A few sequences are fun, particularly a murder high atop a construction site, but this is very tired material that is given no new life by the flat cinematography, dull direction or even the top-flight cast, all of whom are playing characters they’ve done a million times and are phoning it in for the paycheque.