A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.
Nun Sara (Shirley MacLaine) is on the run in Mexico and is saved from cowboys by Hogan (Clint Eastwood), who is preparing for a future mission to capture a French fort. The pair become good friends, but Sara never does tell him the true reason behind her being outlawed.
Dr. Jonathan Hemlock (Clint Eastwood) is an art history professor and collector who finances his hobby by performing the odd sanction (assassination) for an obscure government bureau. He is forced to take a case where he must find out which of the members of a mountain climbing team is the Russian killer he has been given as a target by joining an expedition to climb the treacherous Eiger.Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The revolver which falls out of Dr. Jonathan Hemlock's (Clint Eastwood's) pack when he kicks it over at the end is a Smith & Wesson Model 40 Centennial .38 Special. See more »
In Hemlock's house on the wall over his desk there are pictures of him on various climbs. One of these pictures is of him dangling from the rope by the railway tunnel door at the end of the movie. See more »
Dr. Jonathan Hemlock:
Pope, I really don't mind you being an asshole, you really can't help that, but I do mind you lying to me like I was a fool. Now you came here with one thought in mind, and that was to attach yourself to me so the target would know who I am and what I am. Now, who's gonna perform this sanction if he gets me? You?
You don't think I can handle it?
Dr. Jonathan Hemlock:
In a locked closet with a grenade.
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An early cut of the movie showed, in detail, a man slitting Henri Bach's throat, reaching in, and retrieving microfilm that he had just swallowed. This was deemed too graphic, so the scene was edited to its current version. See more »
This is the silliest film with Eastwood's name on the credits, and that includes stuff like 'Francis in the Navy' and 'Tarantula'. But at its best, its a kind of bravura silliness. There are chunks of quotable dialogue, vertigo inducing cinematography and the requisite smorgasbord of villains and could-be/would-be villains. Just don't ask me if its a spoof, because I have no idea. I'm pretty sure nobody involved with the picture did, either.
The intermittent tone seems largely attributable to the fact that, at this point in Clint's career, the ego had landed. Thus we witness scads of nubile young lovelies attempt to lure the granite hewn stud into bed, whilst he disrobes to reveal a finely honed physique at every opportunity. The women are all sex crazed psychopaths (ain't it the truth) driven to distraction by his squinting cool and formidable musculature. Notice also the number of times both female AND male characters are required to comment admiringly on Eastwood's appearance and caress his form with their eyes. There's no distance to any of this, however. Even the pop-Nietzcheian antics of the mountain climbers are served cold. The director star never offers us the merest suggestion that he's mocking the preening machismo at any level.
All of this worship, plus the fact that the star's performance is WAY, WAY over the top - his usual 'snarling and eye-rolling alternated with boyish grin' is accentuated to parodic proportions - lends the piece a bizarrely dreamy, awkwardly sadistic homo-eroticism. If, in any other film, the hero yelled, "you're quiet now, ain't ya, ya little prick?" at a dog called 'faggot' after he'd killed it's master, I'd be on safe ground in assuming that the makers were nudging my ribs. Here, though, the surrounding unfettered narcissism and borderline unpleasantness it engenders makes it impossible to tell when the joke is for us or on us.
But its fun because of this nonsense. Even the final inconsequentiality of the whole exercise can't diminish that. It's just that this film, more than any other in his catalogue, lends extreme credence to biographer Patrick McGilligan's central assertion that, cinematically speaking at least, Clint is a lot less smart than critics allow.
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