Been rinsing the Burt Lancaster films this week with three in a row. First up was Go Tell The Spartans followed by Atlantic City. Now I got the chance to watch the Cold War antics of two hit-men in director Michael Winner’s spies and espionage thriller Scorpio.
Tagline – The most incredible manhunt of them all!
Burt Lancaster plays the aging agent Cross, who might of gone rogue, maybe a double agent but for sure he’s a pain in the ass for the CIA. Cross has been training up a young protege, French hit-man Jean Laurier with the code name, Scorpio. He’s played by Alain Delon with a slight quirk, the stone cold killer has a fondness for street cats, not ladies of the night? but the fluffy feline variety.
Tagline – When Scorpio wants you… there is no place to hide!
Now I’m a massive Cold War fan, been brought up on George Smiley running The Circus in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Smiley’s People and the likes of Harry Palmer, Number 6 and all the spies trying to get out of the cold. So this film should of hit all the right notes for me but sadly something was missing and I can’t quite put my finger on it.
One things for sure, they pull out all the stops, double agent’s, traitors, controllers, CIA double crossing, back stabbing, informers, KGB agents, secret squirrels and even disguises. Burt Lancaster as The Reverend Tom Jones!
Maybe it was the pacing, maybe it was the introduction to so many characters and plot devices. It could of been the relationship between master and student wasn’t pulled off as well as it could of been? It certainly wasn’t our Burt’s fault as he was his usual charismatic self.
I don’t know but don’t get me wrong I did enjoy the film and man I tell you the chase scene is well worth the wait. It’s fast-paced, frantic and totally furious. Set in a decapitated building site with crumbling concrete and fallen timber, rubble strewn across every where, when it starts you get the chase which starts your heart pumping. Awesome score from Jerry Fielding to accompany the action as guns are fired and our stars throw themselves off ladders and walls into dirty dusty pits. Burt, with his hobby of gymnastics, does all his own stunts and some of them you gotta say, must of hurt!
So who’s the goody and who’s the baddie? Who’s gonna take the hit or give out the hit? Is there ever any winners or losers in the art of cold war? Tune in to find out or have you seen it? The more I think about it whilst doing this post the more I liked it. Whats your thoughts?
Keep watching the screens, have fun. Mikey Wolfman.