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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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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bill Nagy, who has a minor role in this, died before the film came out. See more »

Goofs

In the alley just prior to the rear-ending of the tail car the tail says "I can't see him, he must have got out and run" yet Cross' car's brake lights are clearly on, meaning somebody is in the car with their foot on the brake pedal. See more »

Quotes

Cross: Toasting himself and Zharckov "Here's to dinosaurs".
See more »

Connections

Referenced in School of the Holy Beast (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

In the best tradition of Le Carre
18 October 2003 | by JVSandersSee all my reviews

Whereas Ian Fleming and Robert Ludlum tended toward the super-hero approach to international espionage, John Le Carre preferred it's more-realistic side: the tawdry shadow-world of betrayal, futility, and the brutal exploitation of human weakness. It looks like screenwriters Daniel W. Rintels and Gerald Wilson and director Michael Winner took a page from the Le Carre playbook when crafting this 1973 thriller.

Scorpio ranks with The Spy Who Came In From The Cold and The Looking Glass War as one of the best espionage flicks ever made. Burt Lancaster displays subtle depth as a veteran CIA agent who might be turning to the other side. Alain Delon excels as the young French assassin tasked with the liquidation of his old friend and mentor. Paul Scofield, John Colicos, and a young James Sikking all turn in fine supporting performances.

Scorpio is a lesser-known yet very satisfying classic from the Anti-Hero/Anti-Establishment era of the 1970's.


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