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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:

When Scorpio wants you... there is no place to hide! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 April 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dangerfield 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

On the contrary of the CIA shooting measures, the Orly airport shooting sequence was very difficult to make. The production had to bribe someone Alain Delon knew at Orly airport, in order to obtain the authorization. And security was at the maximum. Each crew member had to provide passport, passports and badges with their photos on it. See more »

Goofs

Lancaster disarms two agents by putting his car into reverse and slamming into their car in a narrow alley. Then he pulls forward and does it again. But on his second pass, there's a shot of the back of his car completely undamaged before it makes the second hit. (In that final shot, the car is damaged as it should be.) See more »

Quotes

Cross: There's a room just down the hall from McLeod's office where grown men play a game. It's a bit like Monopoly, only more people get hurt. There's no good and no bad. The object is not to win, but not to lose - and the only rule is to stay in the game.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in True Lies (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Stinging spy thriller
19 January 2006 | by erniemungerSee all my reviews

Burt Lancaster and Alain Delon are the star cast of this archetypal seventies spy film where, as the final line goes, "the only rule is to stay in the game". A taciturn Lancaster is Cross, a veteran CIA agent who comes under suspicion of double play by the young wisecracks who run the shop. Cross's hit-man Jean Laurier aka Scorpio, a French mercenary played by Alain Delon, is hired by top officer McLeod to get rid of the old man but something tells him there's more to it and he decides to wait. Soon, Cross knows the time on his watch and is on the run, seeking refuge in Vienna with his KGB counterpart and buddy Sergei Zharkov (Paul Scofield in a posture reminiscent of Fernando Rey in French Connection) while trying to reunite with his wife (Joanne Linville) and quit the game. Though not convinced of Cross's alleged defection, Scorpio finally agrees to go after him. Ensues a twisted tale of foul play, double entendre and grim realpolitik. Though not an unforgettable classic nor, by any means, an extravaganza, and despite obvious flaws – among which the sketchy synchronising, some phony dialogue and the occasional action blunder – Scorpio is a highly entertaining and at all times suspenseful flick, which hardly ever loses pace and offers a great platform for a no-nonsense performance by the bulky Lancaster and the sly Delon. Unlike Costa Gavras, director Michael Winner clearly chooses story intrigue over naturalism or verisimilitude, and turns in a solid thriller with overall likable types. Certainly, there is no moral authority here, and not even so much as true friendship or love – he who trusts will get stung.


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