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Video Info : Watch Murder by Contract (1958)

movie-139713
Cast : Vince Edwards, Phillip Pine, Herschel Bernardi
Diector : Irving Lerner ,
GLOBALVIDEOMUSIC.COM - Claude is a young man with a regular job, no history of trouble with the law and no chance of making any real money. He also has the brains and emotional detachment to make the big bucks as a hit man, and that becomes his new job title. A string of successful hits gets him sent to Los Angeles for his latest job. There he is accompanied by two goons: one who is perpetually nervous and the other who quickly worships the young man as a hero. The cold, ruthless hit man finally becomes unglued when he finds out that his latest target is a woman. She's a witness, set to testify against his boss, and guarded day and night by the police. It's her femininity that worries Claude: women are unpredictable, they don't do what you expect. Claude eventually proves that he is the unpredictable one and his own worst enemy.
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100%
1958  
Categories:CrimeDrama
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Reviews

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 carried himself...
A 'Quirky' Soundtrack & Movie Full Of Surprises
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Noir existentialism
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 observed de...
Tense
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 class background with a decent job who decides upward mobility can be achieved by 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 when the market for low budget crime thrillers was shrinking. Having the ruthless 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 no 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 civilized country?" Vince Edwards is awesome. I am convinced this is an ancestor of "Pulp Fiction".
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...
Nearly Flawless
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...
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