The Destructors


Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
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Michael Caine as John Deray
Anthony Quinn as Steve Ventura
James Mason as Jacques Brizard

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mike dewey 7 / 10

Nicely paced 70's crime drama

Unlike some other reviewers, I found this little known piece to be very entertaining. Yes, Tony Quinn over-emotes on occasion (e.g., poker scene) and his affair with Rita (Alexandra Stewart) goes undeveloped, but the story line itself is well paced, interesting and suspenseful. If you're looking for an esoteric, psychologically penetrating example of the crime drama genre, this film is probably not for you. It is, however, a 90 minute "straight, no chaser" crime caper with the obligatory chase scenes, double-crosses, romantic entanglements, etc. Is it Caine and Mason at their best? No, but they don't need to be to fulfill their contribution, individually and collectively, to the flow of the story line. Also, the not-so-well known French actors (to American audiences) cast in the film were up to the task at hand.

In conclusion, great camera shots of Paris, southern France and Marseille. In no small manner, they augmented the film's overall thrust and added an extra dimension of cinematic flavor.

Reviewed by got_the_feelin 6 / 10

Charming thriller, without many thrills. Could have done better!

As a fan of Micheal Caine and of action thrillers from the seventies I was looking forward to watching this film. I'd listened to the wickedly funky soundtrack by Roy "Get Carter" Budd, and spent a while tracking down a copy of the film on VHS.

Firstly i'll deal with the good points. Marseille is a good location to film a thriller, think of French Connection 2 for example, and it is well used. I'm in love with the Citroen DS, especially in black, so I was pleased to see them used throughout the film. There's a playful "cat and mouse" car scene, which was later copied in a more OTT style by John Woo in MI:2! There are a few interesting killings. Caine looks very seventies cool.

Now for the not so good points. Budds soundtrack although is efficient, it is too efficient for my liking, i'd like to hear more of it in the film. The music never really gets going. There are a couple more chase scenes thrown in for good measure, but they are boring. The acting is very very average, as is the film.

In my opinion I think that the director should have made a decision to go with either A) A gritty, hard hitting thriller. Or B) A more tongue in cheek, stylish caper movie. This film has both qualities at certain points within the movie, but it doesn't have the mix right. This is a shame because it could have been much better, perhaps a bigger budget was needed, who knows.

So to sum up, if Michael Caine in various seventies fashions such as roll neck sweaters, giant aviator sunglasses, a smoking jacket with cravat and the odd kipper tie floats your boat, this is the move for you!

Reviewed by msroz 6 / 10

Anthony Quinn and Michael Caine try to take down drug dealer, James Mason

"The Marseille Contract" is a mixture of attractions and flaws, just as it mixes a thriller with a certain light-hearted approach.

The skeleton story is novel and it is elaborated in novel ways. The scenery and cinematography are very nice indeed, with care taken to find good locations. The film editing allows time to absorb the scenery. There is nothing deep about the story, no real themes to make one think. This is just escapist entertainment, put across by an A-team of actors.

Although cops after drug dealers is a plot staple in film, this one has an original twist or two. The whole plot is unrealistic, but somehow we forgive that. Quinn is an American DEA agent in southern France whose field agents are being killed by the goons of a suave and sophisticated drug dealer in Marseille, James Mason. The restless Quinn, now tied to a desk, hires a contract killer to assassinate Mason, paying him with a slush money fund. French cop, Maurice Ronet, helps him locate the killer, Michael Caine. He's the main actor for much of the movie. By romancing Mason's daughter, he insinuates himself into Mason's palatial villa. A game of cat and mouse follows as Caine looks for the right moment to dispose of Mason, and Mason tries to assess who his daughter's friend is. Quinn comes back into the action later when it appears that Caine has been killed. So does Ronet. Marcel Bozzuffi provides his usual stalwart support as Mason's right-hand man.

Caine's character is something like Michael Palmer ("The Ipcress File", "Funeral in Berlin", "The Billion Dollar Brain") even though they are very different. They are the same in their smarts, independence, professional skills and eye for the women. But here Caine has money, more of a sense of humor, is meticulous not slovenly, and is loyal to his friend Quinn. He seems less of a loner, and he doesn't work in an organization.

Mason in any movie is a total professional, a top tier actor on either side of the Atlantic. How he manages to attract us no matter what kind of a character he plays is beyond my comprehension. I think it's the voice and delivery of lines, the intelligence combined with the emotions he is able to convey using his eyes and face alone. There is one wordless scene here where he sees and recognizes Quinn that's a good example of this.

Quinn is irrepressible, an emotional actor through and through. He is a phenomenon, a very "big" actor, a man, often playing an ordinary man, a rough and unsophisticated man as in "La Strada" and "Zorba the Greek". In "The Greek Tycoon", he is sensitive, earthy, magnetic and shrewd. In this movie he's serious and frustrated, not laughing. He's having an affair with beautiful Alexandra Stewart, but even there he's frustrated and losing her.

The plot has been juiced up with some action that's not integral but still adds. The direction is by another complete pro, Robert Parrish. He likes to take his time and build up the psychological elements.

Overall, the movie is an enjoyable ride. Mind you, it's not done anything like the kind of movies that came into being starting around 1990 and now predominate.

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