An average Noir from Billy Wilder's brother that never seems to really get out of second gear until the very end, by which time it's a little too late to salvage.
Noir with an injection of new-wave, Murder by Contract is a captivating thriller depicting the story of a rookie hitman as he wrestles with complications when he takes on his latest hit - a dame about to turn state's evidence against his new boss.
A great performance by Vince Edwards, an off-kilter score and a witty script all add to the film's compelling charm.
Stylish, cool, calculating and told with a minimalist sometimes light-hearted flair, this one turned out to be a very different (and by extension unique) end-of-era Noir and a very pleasant surprise too.
Why I love this film so much:
- The Bat Copter!
- Bitch-slapping an exploding shark
- Dodgy Irish accented cop
- 'That' theme tune
- The Bat Boat!
- The nobility of a suicidal porpoise (!)
- A ball point banana
- Jet-pack umbrellas
- "Bless my dust pan!" & "Holy Halloween!"
- 'Dehydrated' pirates.
- "Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!"
- 'Re-hydrated' pirates
- The Bat Cycle!
- Cat in a dinghy
- Umbrella/sword duel atop a submarine
- Bat Centrifuge!
- Bat ropes!
In summary: Forget Nolan's films; watch this instead.