The Hit (Stephen Frears – 1984) A-

There is so much to love about this obscure (to me at least) film from the mid-eighties. Willie is a mobster who ratted out his whole gang in London and ran off to sun-soaked Spain. 10 years later a couple of hitmen are sent to bring him back to Paris so that he can be – as far as we can tell- killed. This happens in the first 15 minutes or so. The rest of the film is a road trip as things are not as easy to just get out of Spain by car while the police are on their tail. On the way they pick up another passenger -almost by accident. That would be the pretty Maggie who was the girlfriend of one of their acquaintances in Madrid. It’s not what you would expect, Willie is not exactly a captive who it fighting to escape. He is much more philosophical and stoic about the whole situation. Almost understanding. It’s a refreshing take on this genre that combines the fun mobster ethos with lighthearted comedy, violence, death and a road trip. Excellent performances by Terrence Stamp as Willie, John Hurt, a very young Tim Roth as unhinged as ever and the surprising Laura del Sol who plays Maggie the unexpected star of this film.


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