A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
Even bad guys have bad days
Ex-gangster Willie Parker has betrayed his former "colleagues" and now lives in Spain where he thinks he can hide from their vengeance...
The Hit is a funny little film, and I mean that in more ways than one. Trying to describe what it is in one or two categories is almost impossible, so I would end up describing it as a buddy hitman road movie crime comedy-drama thriller. Of sorts.
The crux of the movie is that Terence Stamp, living in hiding in Spain, finds his past catching up him as the old crime boss he squealed on for a deal sends John Hurt and a startlingly young-looking Tim Roth after him (via some Spanish thugs) to bring him to Paris for a reunion - and his assassination.
To say it doesn't quite go according to plan would be an understatement as…
What's up with that poster? The Hit features a Terrence Stamp who has never looked better, and they go with the Spanish girl and Hurt? Not that Hurt is the wrong way to go, I guess, but the Criterion cover is 100 times better.
On to the film, The Hit is a slow burning road trip, sort of, where Terrence Stamp gets caught up by his past as "a grass", after being effectively 10 years on the run. John Hurt and his apprentice Tim Roth playing the part of judge, jury and executioner on the payroll of Stamp's former boss.
Things definitely don't go as planned as the motley crew set out on their trip from a Spanish village towards Paris, and what resembles bonds are formed across "enemy lines", as well as Laure del Sol complicating things further.
Let's just say, it ain't easy being the quiet, efficient hitman.
Included In Lists:
Criterion Collection - #469
Review In A Nutshell:
Stephen Frears' The Hit is the story of an ex-gangster who exposed the truths of his friends and their operations in a court trial; cut to ten years later living in security and isolation in Spain, suddenly becomes kidnapped then is put on a long road trip to Paris where he is planned to be executed.
It is a film that contains a intriguing premise that surely promises tension but ultimately all it delivers are idle conversations that lack impact; neither exploring its characters or speak of a bigger idea that would make this story a necessary journey for the audience to sit through. It is only during the…
If you're still puzzling over how to get from 'The Naked Spur' to 'Bottle Rocket' in three moves or less, this will come in handy.
A gem of a 1980s British gangster film with three amazing turns from Terence Stamp as the supergrass - looking very attractive, even if I, a straight man, do say so - John Hurt utterly convincing as the cold eyed assassin and Tim Roth as the young yobbo apprentice with the short fuse.
There's support from a suitably weary and dogged Fernando Rey as the cop on their trail and Laura Del Sol is the senorita taken along for the ride.
Look out too for early appearances from Ralph Brown and Jim Braodbent and, bizarrely, Lennie Peters of Peters and Lee fame as the silent Mr Corrigan, the man who orders the titular hit.
It's all rather nicely directed by Stephen Frears, though with such a capable cast it could be argued it was idiot proof to make. The film only slightly dips towards the end, a trend in a few movies from Frears.
Willie Parker (Terance Stamp) has only gone and grassed up his mates, and now the slag is living in Spain, until two proper geezers Braddock (John Hurt) and Myron (Tim Roth), bring him home for some revenge, along the way they pick up a proper treacle Maggie (Laura Del Sol), who has lovely thrupenny bits, and things go tits up.
Not your conventional hit man film, infact what genre even is this? Its a crime film mixed with comedy mixed with a road movie mixed with I don't even know. It has John Hurt, Tim Roth and Terence Stamp in it though. I know that for certain.
Masterpiece! Simple, but original. Great, great performances. One of the few movies that really shows the perspectives of death.
Sort of a proto-Sexy Beast in its overall premise, Stephen Frears' The Hit features three actors at the tops of their game.
Terrence "Zod" Stamp turns State's Evidence and escapes to sunny Spain only to be kidnapped ten years later. John Hurt and a baby faced Tim Roth attempt to bring him back to England for mob style execution but Frears doesn't let it go so easily. Mishap after mishap befalls our trio on their journey.
A great British crime picture mixed with a buddy road movie, The Hit is an underseen classic.
A huge shame that Frears doesn't get this gritty anymore.
The Hit is an anomaly of sorts. Its not a crime road trip movie or a thriller but more of a compelling story about death and coming to terms with death
I found this one very enjoyable, if perhaps not quite essential viewing. The Hit works in pretty subtle ways...the main story isn't particularly compelling, per say, but the actors elevate the material and Stephen Frears manages to create the right mood for the piece and then gets out of the way of his excellent actors. I'm a fan of 1980s British films so perhaps i liked it more than it deserves but i'd certainly recommend it...
A curious tonal and genre meld of a rambling road-movie's comedy, the gritty violence of British gangster films, and the fatalistic ennui of Melville's crime films, Frears soaks the film in slow-boil tension and nervous energy that adds a sinister edge to the sun-soaked, sandy Spanish vistas—beautifully captured by Mike Molloy's soft hued cinematography which evokes the weathered grittiness of a Western rather than the dank sordidness of British gangster films, upending expectations and priming us for Frears's genre interrogation—and curdles the exploitative thrills of violent gangster films, denying these crimeworld figures any glorifying sex appeal—even Stamp's philosophical turn is undercut by his candid cowardice.
These varied tones are unified by an existential streak that runs through the film's meditation…
Starts as a seemingly standard kidnapping/mob revenge story with a pair of menacing thugs setting up a hit on Terence Stamp. Then it goes in really unexpected directions, it starts becoming a buddy-road movie, the tone turns sort of sentimental, and there's a phenomenally great scene of Tim Roth gleefully tearing apart a roadside bar during an impromptu stop for beer. Strange and great.
(6/10 is "Good")
Great soundtrack, Great characters, and great finale but a little dull.
Moody and atmospheric, great performances all round.
Edgar Wright's 1000 Favorite Movies via MUBI.