Stylized and spare to the point of awkwardness, but somehow utterly fresh, too...
Murder By Contract was a strange film, but I really like something
quirky now and then and this film noir had its quirks.I mean, dig that crazy music, man! The soundtrack reminded me of The
Third Man with the zither, except here it was guitar. I found it so
out-of-place that it was good that way. It got your attention and was
effective in an odd manner.Vince Edwards' character, "Claude," a hit man with a lot of
intelligence, was also fun to enjoy. His dialog, and just the way he
A 'Quirky' Soundtrack & Movie Full Of Surprises
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Murder by Contract is a unique little film. It operates within its own
little hermetic (back- projected) world, and it is no accident that one
of its main scenes is set on an abandoned film studio. Vince Edwards
plays a disaffected antihero, and, with its brilliant minimalistic
guitar score (by Perry Botkin) it could be possible to read this film
as Jarmushian WAY avant la lettre! The ending is quite disappointing -
the film just kind of peters out, but there are so many beautifully
I first saw this movie when I was a kid and had a crush on Vince
Edwards as Ben Casey. Well I am all grown up, no longer have a crush,
and still think this movie was excellent for its time. The cold blooded
approach of Edwards character Claude, his lack of affect, makes him
more menacing than those shouting gun waving villains you usually see
in film. This guy knows his job and that's all it is, a job. The music
is so monotonous it fits the characters attitude (or lack of one). Even
the other b...
A slightly different low budget crime thriller.
Vince Edwards is Claude, a college educated young man from a middle
background with a decent job who decides upward mobility can be achieved
becoming a contract killer. Claude is clever and carefully plans his hits.
However, he proves himself to be too clever when hired to kill a female
witness in a federal mob trial.MURDER BY CONTRACT is a not bad, very low budget crime thriller made
the market for low budget crime thrillers was shrinking. Having the
Claude come from a ...
I know Quentin had to have seen this flick!
This little gem has dialogue to die for. Production values? We don't need
stinking production values. Not with lines like "You know what you have to
be to get a gun like that, George? A civilized country. Are you a
country?" Vince Edwards is awesome. I am convinced this is an ancestor of
Simple but highly effective
Entertaining, low budget crime thriller.Vince Edwards was tailor made for the role of Claude, a cool and
calculating hit-man who has to bump off a beautiful woman before she
spills the beans to the authorities about a certain criminal King Pin.Edwards made several of these well crafted bargain basement efforts
just before he became an international TV star as Dr Ben Casey.Stylish direction and some interesting camera work compliment a
thoughtful script. Be watching for one particularly unsettli...
Or "Zen and the Art of the Hired Gun"
Or "Zen and the Art of the Hired Gun". "Murder By Contract" may
possibly be the most sadly overlooked crime film of all-time. Martin
Scorcese is one of the film's main champions, so maybe he could work
around with some connections to get this gem released to DVD. If this
and "Blast of Silence" were available to a wider audience, the world
would be a better place. Unfortunately, its neglected to a very small
cult following who seek it out through expensive gray market bootlegs
of varying quality...
Frankly, I came in expecting little from this totally anonymous
abbreviated 50s crime drama and left the theatre shocked at how much
bang for my 67 minutes I got. I am hard-pressed to think of another
movie of this length which accomplishes as much plotwise or entertains
as much audiencewise as this thoroughly neglected late-50s gem. Vince Edwards leaps off the screen with amazing charisma to burn and
Bernardi and Pine are nearly as effective as the hapless bumbling
mobsters assigned to chapero...
Inventive, Offbeat Crime Drama
MURDER BY CONTRACT is not at all what one might expect. This is not a
studio-bound, TV-influenced, watered-down would be Film Noir. In fact, it's
not a Film Noir at all, but a crime drama, at once witty and serious. This
odd, quirky little film is a triumph over budget limitations. Director
Irving Lerner makes the most of LA locations, interesting camera setups, a
witty screenplay and a well-chosen cast. Vince Edwards, who would later work with Lerner on 'Ben Casey', is very
effective as Claud...