The Hit

Director: Stephen Frears
Screenwriters: Peter Prince

Institute History

  • 1985 Sundance Film Festival


Ten years after Willie Parker turns evidence against his partners in crime, two coolheaded killers search him out in Spain to collect the debt and deliver him to Paris for a gangland execution. But upon capture Willie cheerfully prepares for his return to France, heaving a sigh of relief after years of anxiety. The trouble is that nothing goes right from the moment of his capture. Freeway detours, police pursuit, an unwanted female hostage who proves more trouble than she’s worth, and a bevy of slap-stick comic misadventures bring frustration to the expert killers. The Hit works well as a suspenseful, sardonic, absurdly funny black thriller in the best anti-traditions film noir (comic rather than tragic characters, sun drenched rather than dark corridors, for example). John Hurt leads the cast as a hardened but frustrated hitman, with Terence Stamp as the blissfully benign victim, and Spanish actress Laura del Sol as the frantic hostage.

Screening Details

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