Hit

Hit

4.5 7
Director: Stephen Frears

Cast: John Hurt, Tim Roth, Laura del Sol

     
 

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In this offbeat crime film, Willie Parker (Terence Stamp) an English mobster turned informant, has been given a new identity and has been living in a small, isolated village in Spain for 10 years. Unfortunately for Parker, the men he has betrayed have ascertained his whereabouts and send Braddock (John Hurt), a professional hitman, and his apprentice Myron (Tim Roth)… See more details below

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Overview

In this offbeat crime film, Willie Parker (Terence Stamp) an English mobster turned informant, has been given a new identity and has been living in a small, isolated village in Spain for 10 years. Unfortunately for Parker, the men he has betrayed have ascertained his whereabouts and send Braddock (John Hurt), a professional hitman, and his apprentice Myron (Tim Roth) to bring Parker to Paris where his ex-associates await. After kidnapping Parker, nothing goes as planned. Now they are followed by a Spanish policeman (Fernando Rey) who seems to anticipate each of their moves, and they are burdened by Maggie (Laura del Sol), the mistress of a fellow mobster they were forced to kill. What should have been a routine hit becomes a psychological battle between all the participants as Parker, in a fight for time and for his life, plays one against the other. Set against the bleak Spanish landscape and featuring evocative and memorable theme music, the film builds to a surprising conclusion where the true nature of all the characters is revealed. Terence Stamp develops the character of Parker in a subtle but surprisingly comic performance and Laura del Sol shines as a woman who will do what is necessary to survive. Tim Roth, in his film debut, plays a brutal, but oddly endearing thug. But it is John Hurt, in a sensitive and nuanced performance, who brings a perceptive intelligence and depth to his role which adds a philosophical and psychological dimension to the film. Hurt plays his difficult role without a misstep and with a rare economy of action. Thoughtful and frequently amusing, The Hit, superbly written by Peter Prince, is both a compelling and suspenseful crime drama and also a deep and profound meditation on life, death and courage.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
This relatively early feature effort from Stephen Frears set the tone for his justly celebrated The Grifters six years later, but it also stands on its own as an acute psychological mood piece. Despite its mid-sized cast and its variety of settings, from British courtrooms to the Spanish countryside, The Hit summons up a claustrophobic intensity from the tension-fraught interaction of four key players on a road trip to hell. From John Hurt's rumpled, tight-lipped hit man and Terence Stamp's cockily zen informant to the fresh-faced but ferocious Tim Roth and the nervy, vivacious Laura del Sol, each of the principals contributes top-notch work. The result is an efficient case study in the playing of mind games -- one where sun-bleached stillness and sudden violence share an equal capacity to fray the nerves of both audience and characters. The economical script, by future Waterland scribe Peter Prince, certainly made the director's job easier. But considering that the film was released a mere year before My Beautiful Laundrette, a very different sort of effort from Frears, The Hit offers further proof that the British director is a jack of all trades and master of many.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/28/2009
UPC:
0715515042710
Original Release:
1984
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:38:00
Sales rank:
5,956

Special Features

Commentary featuring director Stephen Frears, actors John Hurt and Tim Roth, writer Peter Prince, and editor Mick Audsley; A 1988 interview with actor Terence Stamp from the television show Parkinson One-to-One; Original theatrical trailer; A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Graham Fuller

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Hurt Braddock
Tim Roth Myron
Laura del Sol Maggie
Terence Stamp Willie Parker
Bill Hunter Harry
Fernando Rey Chief Inspector
Joaquin Alonzo Kidnapper
Emeko Olazagasti Young Basque
Manuel de Benito Juan, Willie's Bodyguard
Sheila Trezise Actor
Freddie Stuart First Man
Ralph Brown Second Man
A.J. Clarke Third Man
Lennie Peters Mr. Corrigan
Bernie Searl Hopwood
Brian Royal Fellows
Albie Woodington Riordan
Willoughby Gray Judge
Jim Broadbent Barrister
Juan Calot Priest
Enrique San Francisco Kidnapper
Jose Luis Fernandez Kidnapper
Camilo Vilanova Kidnapper
Carlos Lucena Uniformed Officer
Miguel Garmendia Tavern Keeper
Carlos Zabala Young Basque
Patxi Barko Young Basque
Xavier Aguirre Young Basque
Carlos Tristancho Garage Attendant
Jeremy Thomas Actor

Technical Credits
Stephen Frears Director
Reyes Abades Special Effects
Marit Allen Costumes/Costume Designer
John A. Alonzo Cinematographer
Luciano Arroyo Set Decoration/Design
Mick Audsley Editor
Karen Dawson Makeup
Paco de Lucía Score Composer
Joyce Herlihy Associate Producer
Julio Molina Art Director
Michael Molloy Cinematographer
Peter Prince Screenwriter
Andrew Sanders Production Designer
Bob Smith Camera Operator
Jeremy Thomas Producer
Alan Whibley Special Effects

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Hit
1. "We'll Meet Again" [7:49]
2. Ten Years Later [6:24]
3. Exchange [3:22]
4. Executioner and His Assistant [8:27]
5. Harry's Place [9:19]
6. Wrong Place, Wrong Time [6:14]
7. Maggie [7:26]
8. Gora Euskadi [7:42]
9. All Part of the Same Process [8:34]
10. Petrol Stop [11:23]
11. A Stage In the Journey [5:58]
12. Tomorrow [5:48]
13. The Border [9:35]
14. Color Bars [:00]

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