The Hit

WILLIE PARKER GRASSED… TEN YEARS LATER THEY CAME FOR THEIR REVENGE. 

In 1972, Willie Parker (Terence Stamp) testified in court against his gangster companions and moved to Spain; a decade later he’s kidnapped by two men (John Hurt, Tim Roth) who work for Willie’s vengeful former partners. One of director Stephen Frears’s earliest films is a brutal and very engaging gangster flick that turns into a road movie. Not exactly brimming with originality, but still has many compelling scenes where the characters reveal interesting traits; one theme is how we handle the imminent prospect of death. Excellent performances by Stamp as the supergrass, Hurt as the icy veteran and Roth (in his debut) as his childish and dumb partner.

1984-Britain. 98 min. Color. Produced by Jeremy Thomas. Directed by Stephen Frears. Screenplay: Peter Prince. Cast: Terence Stamp (Willie Parker), John Hurt (Braddock), Tim Roth (Myron), Laura Del Sol, Bill Hunter, Fernando Rey… Jim Broadbent.

Trivia: The instrumental theme was written and performed by Eric Clapton and Roger Waters.

Last word: “A friend asked me why I thought I’d been able to direct films for 30 years and I really didn’t have an answer. It is a very difficult industry and grinds up talent unmercifully. I don’t know if this explains anything, but I recently caught the last part of ‘The Hit’ on television and my reaction was a kind of puzzlement as to why I hadn’t made more films like that, in style and attitude. […] Through the process of working and getting a variety of experience, your craft is going to improve. […] But you’re never going to make a film late in your career the way you made it at the beginning and to try to is insane.” (Frears, Movie City News)

 

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