A professional hit man is planning to retire, always a difficult move for one in such a profession. A young apprentice appears to be eager to learn all the skills of the trade - but is that all he wants?Written by
Steve Crook <email@example.com>
The film was originally to be directed by Monte Hellman, who had critical but not financial success in 1971 with the road movie 'Two-Lane Blacktop' but after a few weeks the film's producers, Irwin Winkler And Robert Chartoff, switched studios and brought in Michael Winner, who would be directing Bronson for a second time, after 'Chato's Land'. See more »
(at around 1 min): When Bishop is photographing using a telescope, the image
should be upside down. See more »
[When Arthur is explaining to Steve about the rules in the martial art scene]
They won't hit each other or one of them would dead and that's against the law.
See more »
The 1988 UK Warner video release was cut by 7 secs by the BBFC to remove closeup shots of a lock picking. The cuts were restored in the 2004 MGM DVD. See more »
Charles Bronson Thriller with a wallop of an ending
Fascinating film about the life and lifestyle of a professional hit-man, a Mechanic, and how dangerous that lifestyle can be not just for the person that gets "Hit" but also for the "Hitman" himself. Arthur Bishop, Charles Bronson, is the top "Mechanic" in the business and we see in the beginning of the movie how he does his job.
Getting his orders through the mail Bishop sets up his victim by casing out his hotel room and then planting an explosive in his bookcase and rigging his gas-range to leak slowly so he wouldn't notice. Then wait hidden ,across the street facing his intended victim's room, until the time is right for him to get off a shot. Not at the victim but at the bookcase to make it look like the he died in a tragic accident instead of an assassins bullet.
You see this all happening in the first fifteen minutes of the movie without a single word of dialog but it's done so well that you know exactly what's happening on the screen. The "hit job" that Bishop had at the start of the movie turned out to be a flaming success.
One afternoon Bishop gets a call from a old friend "Big" Harry, Keenan Wynn. McKenna about some trouble he's having with the organization and if Bishop can help him out. Being that Bishop's father was one of the founders of the organization "Big" Harry feels he can get whatever trouble he has with it smooths out. Bishop tells "Big" Harry he'll see what he could do.
The next morning Bishop gets an envelope in the mail from the organization for his next hit and the person Bishop is contracted to knock off is non other then "Big" Harry. Going through the motions as usual Bishop plans his "Hit" on "Big" Harry with cold calculations and no emotions at all even though he knew "Big" Harry since he was a little boy.
Getting "Big" Harry to meet him in a secluded place by the beach Bishop takes a number of shot at him but not trying to kill him but to induce "Big" Harry to have a fatal heart attack which he does. This is doe by Bishop so that the police and maybe even his fellow mobsters wouldn't be suspicious of any foul play in "Big" Harry's death.
"Big" Harry's son Steve, Jan-Michael Vincent who Bishop met when he came to see "Big" Harry begins to take a very strong liking to him after his fathers death. It's as if Steve wanted Bishop to be his fathers replacement. Even though at the time when Bishop saw Steve with his father they weren't exactly that close and Steve seemed to have a dislike and resentment for his dad even at his funeral that Bishop attended.
It seems that Steve wants to become a "Mechanic" like Bishop and wants to learn the tools of the trade from him, who's the best in the business. Steve likes Bishop's pad in the country and fancy sports car and most of all the danger of his job that is very exciting for the young man who was bored with his life of unending parties. You start to wonder if thats really the reason Steve is so interested to be around Bishop? Does Steve want to get even with Bishop, who Steve seems to know, killed his father? And why does Bishop seem to be so agreeable with Steve in teaching him about the art of killing in secret? Or is Bishop not as naive as he seems to be and is setting Steve up for something?
Intelligent film about the dirty business of the assassination game with Charles Bronson and Jan- Michael Vincent very good as cold-blooded killers who show no emotion at what they do. Slow in the action department, for a Charles Bronson movie, at first but better acted and written then most of the movies that he made back then in the 1970's. With an ending that's one of the best and most surprising finals you'll ever see in any movie.
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