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The Hit - Vendetta

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Willie Parker e' un gangster. Braddock e' un killer. Dopo aver testimoniato contro i suoi ex complici, Willie Parker si rifugia in Spagna nel tentativo di sfuggire alla loro vendetta. Per dieci anni vive nel terrore di essere scoperto e si prepara a fronteggiare la propria inevitabile esecuzione...


Willie Parker è un gangster. Braddock è un killer. Dopo aver testimoniato contro i suoi ex complici, Willie Parker si rifugia in Spagna nel tentativo di sfuggire alla loro vendetta. Per dieci anni vive nel terrore di essere scoperto e si prepara a fronteggiare la propria inevitabile esecuzione...

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Amazon.com: 44 recensioni
39 di 41 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
Criterion Dusts Off a Neglected Existentialist British Gangster Gem 5 aprile 2009
Di Thomas Plotkin - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: DVD
A British gangster turns informer and testifies against a dockful of his mates; as sentence is handed down, the crew gaze at him and burst into song -- Vera Lynn's "We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when..." Years later, living a placid exile in a sleepy Spanish village, the informer gets a knock on the door, and two univited guests from his homeland show up; one is a jittery soccer hooligan, the other, is, well, white-suited, sunglasses wearing, and almost silent -- the Angel of Death and his acolyte. Their job is to drive the informer several hundred miles to the French border, where he will be delivered to one of those who vowed revenge and is now free. The catch? The informer goes smilingly and willingly. He has known this day would come, and has spiritually prepared himself for it. As the three journey north, his cheerful composure and penchant for cockeny existentialist philosophizing and non-stop chatter begins to crack the facade of the killers who are transporting him; and then everything starts to go very, very wrong. The question is: Has the informer had a conversion experience, or is he a seasoned hustler who has devised a brilliant survival gambit?

Stephen Frears, not yet a hack, directed this fabulous example of BritNoir in the mid-'80's, where it was barely exhibited in the US. The sun-drenched Spanish locations are a special joy, contrasting with the increasingly grim story, and Frears builds up an admirable amount of tension, leading to explosive bursts of orchestrated violence. This film is genuinely unpredictable, thanks in large part to a literate, Pinter-esque script, the fact that the action is character-generated, and three generations of great UK actors are on hand to deliver the crowning glory of the film, its performances, I've saved the best for last:
Terence Stamp, in his return to the big screen after a lengthy absence, gives his greatest performance, better even than the much-vaunted "The Limey," as the smiling martyr. His charm and serenity un-nerve his would-be killers, and starts to un-nerve us as well;
Tim Roth, in his first feature film, as the soccer hooligan driver on his very first hit; when you see this squirrely apprentice, you know that he is the weak link, and watch how Stamp zeroes right in on him because he sees this too. Watch also how Roth delivers a head-butt as though it was a daily occurrence.
The Angel of Death -- John Hurt as the veteran assassin. He is the voluable, handsome, sun-tanned Stamp's polar opposite, he speaks monosyllabically, if at all, will not indulge his captive's fondness for philosophy, and is seemingly oblivious to all but the job at hand. He has no discernable personality, and Hurt, with his dry croak of a voice, shaded eyes, pasty white skin that seems to blanch from the Spanish sun, as though he's not used to daylight, and increasingly filthy white suit, makes him a frightening incarnation, keeping superhuman cool as a simple assignment falls apart and becomes a bloodbath. Not since Charles Bronson in Once Upon a Time in the West have I seen an actor do more with so few lines and an inexpressive visage.

Extra credit goes to Laura del Sol, veteran of Carlos Saura's flamenco musicals, as the gorgeous hostage the killers are forced to take on board in one of the film's escalating plot complications: she speaks not a word of English, but she incarnates a will to survive - and an instinctive loathing of the Hurt character - that marks her out as a Mediterranean life force, in contrast to Hurt's Northern European death-drive; just as Stamp's equanimity in the face of death begins to drive the Roth character nuts, her Magnani-like sexuality begins to take its toll on Hurt's impassive murderousness.

Anyway, if you want to see a genuine little sleeper of a movie, decked out with a great cast, you could do worse then The Hit. Criterion once again shows fabulous acumen in rescuing a great one from oblivion. A great addition to the British tradition of off-beat gangster movies, like Get Carter, The Long Good Friday and Performance.
15 di 15 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
The Passenger 10 dicembre 2001
Di Doug Anderson - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Any quick synopsis of the plot may give you the idea that this is like so many independent films that came after it but its not. The three things that make this different and better are the three actors involved. The young hood who acts tough but really may not have the stomach for this kind of thing is Tim Roth, the true professional hit man who has little patience for his young accomplice and would be apprentice is John Hurt. And the target for the elaborate hit is the always exquisite Terence Stamp who knows it has been coming all the years and has become very philosophical, almost welcoming it when it finally appears. Stamp too was a pro and that makes both Hurt and Roth admire him, even revere him perhaps for accepting things like he does. There is action but most of it is character interaction, which is very good. Visually the most exciting scenes are in Spain where Stamp has been hiding it out in a very comfortable country villa, but the trip back to Paris presents several interesting villages and vistas. Frears later did Dangerous Liasons which I also like but this smaller film is my favorite of his primarily because of the Stamp character and Terence Stamp himself. If you've seen anything of his from Billy Budd to Fellinis Toby Dammit to Pasolinis Theorem to The Limey, you know he is one of the most interesting screen presences you will ever encounter, The Hit was made when he hadn't been seen in a picture for a while so the fact that the character he plays in The Hit has also been out of circulation for awhile gives the role an added dimension.
Later Reservoir Dogs made Tim Roth famous and for good reason but here you get his debut doing it all for the first time. And Hurt is always scary as hell like he's haunted with some knowledge about human nature that you nor I nor anyone will ever know about.
7 di 7 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
Deserves to be a small cult 28 dicembre 1999
Di Un cliente - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
"The Hit" is a wonderful and endearing early effort from top Brit director Frears. A slick kidnap, road movie with a kooky edge, blending in beautious spanish landscapes with theories on mortality and teenage crushes. But its the charming, oddball characters that really sell this. Terance Stamp is perfect as the doomed, yet gleeful Willy, and is able to be sympathetic, enigmatic and wickedly comic. John Hurt is brutal and troubled as the Hitman who develops a quite surreal relationship with his female hostage. However the most winning performance here belongs to a remarkably young Tim Roth as the lippy sidekick. His portrayal of Myron is spunky, goonie and...adorable! This is the sort of movie you watch at 2:ooam and it gains a kind of dreamlike quality. The ending is so painfully ironic.
6 di 6 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
Simply Complex 10 marzo 2000
Di Paul Arnold - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
This early effort of Stephen Frears is a remarkable example of the film genre that it helped to inspire. Made in 1984, it is one of the early "road" films which has become a Hollywood cliche (interesting or unusual characters driving cross country, often shot in the desert: see Thelma & Louise, Wild at Heart, etc.)
On the surface, this is a straightforward tale of a mafia style abduction and murder; and it can be viewed and enjoyed on this level only. Yet, when you look beyond the action and study the characters, the possibilities for the motivations and circumstances of their actions become infinite.
I have viewed this movie many times, and I still am trying to decipher the subtext(s): Is Braddock intentionally making the job more complex than it needs to be? Does Willie (the intended victim) really believe in the spiritual peace he claims to have found, or is it just a pretext to stay alive long enough to save himself through trickery? Who exactly is the young Spanish girl?
This is one of those films which can be viewed again and again, each time presenting something different to the viewer....
17 di 21 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
Leave it to Artisan... 25 novembre 2002
Di ptaylor2121 - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: DVD
Artisan is the worst!
Having never seen this film, I was extremely excited to see that it was to be released on DVD finally...until I noticed that Artisan was going to release it. Sure enough, Artisan has done it again, offering The Hit in a pan & scan format. Surely this is not an action cheapie, and as such deserves better treatment than Artisan is putting out.
If you don't care about format, ignore my review. If you do care, I suggest that you be careful buying any Artisan DVDs, as they are releasing loads of P & S titles these days.
Would someone in authority please advise Artisan to raise their price point and release these films in a double-sided disc offering both formats, a la Warner Brothers?

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