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Cross is an old hand at the CIA, in charge of assassinating high-ranking foreign personalities who are an obstacle to the policies of the USA. He often teams up with Frenchman Jean Laurier, alias "Scorpio", a gifted free-lance operative. One day, the CIA orders Scorpio to eliminate Cross -- and leaves him no choice but to obey. Scorpio is cold-blooded and very systematic; however, as a veteran agent, Cross knows many tricks. He can also rely upon a network of unusual personal contacts, some dating back to the troubled years preceding WWII. A lethal game of hide-and-seek is programmed, but what are the true motives of every single player? Written by
Eduardo Casais <email@example.com>
Bill Nagy who has a minor role in this died before the film came out. See more »
In the alley just prior to the rear-ending of the tail car the tail says "I can't see him, he must have got out and run" yet Cross' car's brake lights are clearly on, meaning somebody is in the car with their foot on the brake pedal. See more »
Paranoia film that's pretty typical of the early 70s
In the 1960s, disenchantment among the Western populations led to the hippie movement and a new questioning of authority. Combining this with the Watergate scandal and you set the context for movies like SCORPIO and THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR. Both films view our own government with great suspicion--particularly the CIA. Such films probably would NOT have been accepted by the public just a decade earlier, but in the 70s paranoia of this type was fashionable. So was the moral relativism that implied that the US and Soviet governments were pretty much the same.
In some ways, the plot to SCORPIO is pretty interesting--a CIA agent (Burt Lancaster) is perceived to be a double agent and is ordered to be killed. Oddly, Alain Delon, a Frenchman, is given this task but Lancaster seems too slippery and skilled to be easily taken. Unfortunately, after a while the film both becomes rather dull and is rather hard to believe. As one reviewer pointed out, the way that Lancaster and Scofield knew each other didn't really make sense, as an American serving with the Spanish Republicans would have been seen as an extreme leftist--not exactly a person you'd expect to later be in the CIA. Of course, this DID help the moral relativism being pushed in the film.
Aside from watching the acrobatic Lancaster do his own stunts and Scofield overact (in a fun way), this is a very low energy film--and you'd not expect this would be the case for an espionage thriller. It just seemed very detached and uninvolving. Overall, it's a passable film, but not one you should go out of your way to see.
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