7.4/10
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Murder by Contract (1958)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | December 1958 (USA)
Claude is a ruthless and efficient contract killer - until he finds his next target is a woman.

Director:

Irving Lerner

Writer:

Ben Simcoe
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Vince Edwards ... Claude
Phillip Pine ... Marc
Herschel Bernardi ... George
Caprice Toriel ... Billie Williams
Michael Granger Michael Granger ... Mr. Moon
Kathie Browne ... Mary - Secretary and Party Girl (as Cathy Browne)
Joseph Mell Joseph Mell ... Harry - Hotel Room Waiter
Frances Osborne Frances Osborne ... Miss Wiley - Ex-maid
Steven Ritch Steven Ritch ... Detective Shooting Tear Gas
Janet Brandt Janet Brandt
Davis Roberts ... Hall of Records Clerk
Don Garrett Don Garrett ... James William Mayflower - Plainclothesman
Gloria Victor Gloria Victor ... Miss Wexley - Bunco Squad
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Storyline

Claude is a young man with a regular job, no history of trouble with the law and no chance of making any real money. He also has the brains and emotional detachment to make the big bucks as a hit man, and that becomes his new job title. A string of successful hits gets him sent to Los Angeles for his latest job. There he is accompanied by two goons: one who is perpetually nervous and the other who quickly worships the young man as a hero. The cold, ruthless hit man finally becomes unglued when he finds out that his latest target is a woman. She's a witness, set to testify against his boss, and guarded day and night by the police. It's her femininity that worries Claude: women are unpredictable, they don't do what you expect. Claude eventually proves that he is the unpredictable one and his own worst enemy. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's Kill or Be Killed! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Assassinio per contratto See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orbit Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The abandoned movie studio location in the film is the former Charlie Chaplin Studio. See more »

Goofs

When the three are driving around in Los Angeles it is very obvious that the car is in the studio in front of a projection screen. You can see that the windshield has been removed and studio lights are reflected in Claude's sunglasses. See more »

Quotes

Claude: [to Harry with contempt] Why are you miserable? Cause you haven't got any dough? And why haven't you got any dough? Because you're too scared to go out and get it yourself. You want it to come to you. Well, nothing comes to you, Harry. Nothing except one thing... death. Death comes to you... comes to everybody. Only everybody thinks they'll live forever.
[laughs]
Claude: There's a laugh. They think they'll live forever. The way i see it, Harry, everybody lives off everybody else.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in I Know Who Killed Me (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tense
24 March 2006 | by ehorton2-2See all my reviews

I first saw this movie when I was a kid and had a crush on Vince Edwards as Ben Casey. Well I am all grown up, no longer have a crush, and still think this movie was excellent for its time. The cold blooded approach of Edwards character Claude, his lack of affect, makes him more menacing than those shouting gun waving villains you usually see in film. This guy knows his job and that's all it is, a job. The music is so monotonous it fits the characters attitude (or lack of one). Even the other bad guys in the film know there is something not quite right about their hired gun. I liked it. Whenever it's on I make it point to try and catch at least some of it.


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