6.4/10
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Scorpio (1973)

During the Cold War, the CIA orders free-lance operative Scorpio to assassinate his former CIA mentor Cross and a deadly cat-and-mouse game ensues.

Director:

Michael Winner

Writers:

David W. Rintels (screenplay), Gerald Wilson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Lancaster ... Cross
Alain Delon ... Jean 'Scorpio' Laurier
Paul Scofield ... Zharkov
John Colicos ... McLeod
Gayle Hunnicutt ... Susan
J.D. Cannon ... Filchock
Joanne Linville ... Sarah
Mel Stewart ... Pick (as Melvin Stewart)
Vladek Sheybal ... Zemetkin
Mary Maude Mary Maude ... Anne
Jack Colvin ... Thief
James Sikking ... Harris
Burke Byrnes ... Morrison
William Smithers ... Mitchell
Shmuel Rodensky ... Lang
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Storyline

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 <casaise@acm.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...Code Name for a Killer! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Walter Mirisch originally considered Ryan O'Neal and Rod Steiger as his two leads. See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie, the two CIA covert operatives are openly discussing a high profile political assassination on-board the airplane in close proximity of civilians' ears, including names and motives of involved parties. Though it helps the audience understand the story, that kind of conduct is virtually impossible in real life behavior. See more »

Quotes

Jean 'Scorpio' Laurier: [speaking of his cats] They were bred to be degenerate.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Assassins (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Beer Garden Waltz
(uncredited)
Music by Hugo de Groot
De Wolfe Music Ltd
See more »

User Reviews

 
Amazing spy thriller with top-notch cast, dialogue, direction
27 August 2008 | by Catch-52See all my reviews

Lancaster, Delon, and Scofield are amazing in this complex, character-driven spy thriller. For some reason, Winner's direction has come in for a lot of criticism, but I thought it was superb (at least here; haven't seen any of his other works). The big action sequence is beautifully shot, edited, and staged -- I liked it far better than "The French Connection"; indeed, "Black Sunday" is the only '70s thriller I've seen with better action. It's just so realistic!

The biggest flaw I can see is that the major action sequence is so exciting that all the stuff that comes after it can seem a bit dull and overextended by comparison. Still, it's good, thought-provoking material with a cynical Le Carre edge. Without spoiling the end, let's just say that whether or not you think it "works", it certainly has an emotional impact.

The supporting cast (Joanne Linville, John Colicos, J.D. Cannon, Frederick Jaeger, Shmuel Rodensky, et al.) is quite good, and the script (co-written by famed TV producer David Rintels) is filled with quotable dialogue and subtle bits that illuminate the characters, as well as clever pieces of "spy business" that feel authentic (whether or not they are).

Bottom line: One of the best films of its kind.


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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 April 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Scorpio File See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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