Monday, December 3, 2012

The Outside Man (1972)

"He forced me to cook him dinner.  I served him chicken cacciatore with wine and mushrooms and all,...I mean,...knowing he was French and all.

I felt like I should probably do some kind of write up on the movie that is this blogs namesake.

The Outside Man is a French thriller, set in LA about a hit man who gets the job done and then finds out that he has now become the hunted. The meat of the film is spent trying to find out the source of the double cross.

What a cast! Ann-Margret, Roy Scheider, Angie Dickinson and 20 seconds of screen time for Alex Rocco.  For me, the presence of Alex Rocco can legitimize any film.  So who plays the leading role?  Some French dude.  I'm not familiar with French cinema.  Those who are, can probably spout off more info than I can regarding Jean-Louis Trintignant (aka the outside man).  Whatever his credentials, his time on screen can best be described as "cool".

Roy Scheider is cool, too.  And silent.  I think the man was given a total of 5 lines of dialogue.  Unfortunately, the script kind of relegated his character to being, what has to be, one of the most inefficient hit men on film.  I guess he couldn't be too good at his job, or the movie would have been over in the first ten minutes.  

This movie also has some of the most unexciting car chases ever put on film.  I guess all the money had dried up after all the actors took their salaries.

Despite it's shortcomings, there is something really really cool about hanging out with these characters.  I mean, they are wearing suits and shooting guns, right?  Plus, Angie Dickinson and Ann-Margret are excellent eye candy.  I should also mention that there are 2 or 3 scenes in this film that would make any exploitation film fan proud.  I won't ruin them for you.

Shootout in a funeral home?  Yes, please!

The film has some expected eurocrime leanings.  You get sprinklings of humor, melodrama, noir and action, throughout.  The pacing is slow to deliberate.  What a great score!!!  

Be careful watching you tube vids related to this movie.  Most will give away the fun surprises.  Like this movie and be cooler than all your friends. 

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