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While investigating a high-profile murder case, a savvy but unorthodox veteran police inspector has to cope with a bad conscience, bad health, an overzealous partner, a timid superior and interference from political interests. This is an existential whodunit, but a good one, and like any good whodunit, ends with a very surprising conclusion, which will be spoiled for you if you read much of anything at all about the movie. Written by
"End of the Game," a 1975 film directed by Maximilian Schell, isn't a standard murder mystery. Set in Europe, Martin Ritt (Hans Baerlach) is a Swiss police detective trying to capture a man named Gastmann (Robert Shaw). Thirty years earlier, Gastmann killed a woman in front of Ritt and was never prosecuted. When Ritt's partner is killed, he gets a new one, Walter (Jon Voight).
Ritt is excellent as a man determined to carry out this assignment despite facing death himself. Donald Sutherland, in an early role, plays the murdered detective in photos and as a corpse. The beautiful Jacqueline Bisset is the late detective's girlfriend. Robert Shaw is his usual hateful and smooth self. Voight does a good job, playing his role in a somewhat frenzied manner. He's also has a big nude scene.
"End of the Game" has a very European feel to it, and a host of accents from all over the place. It's unclear if they were all supposed to be speaking the same language or not. Accents aren't necessary, for instance, if you're a German living in Germany because you're not speaking English with an accent, you're speaking German. I suppose one can assume whatever language the characters were speaking, they had regional accents.
Fascinating film, the type of which one saw made more in the '70s than today - uneven, remote, but interesting.
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