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An aging gangster insists on pulling one more job for the mob.
In the Portuguese coastal city of Albufeira, retired criminal American Harry Garmes adjusts and test-drives his BMW convertible sports car in anticipation of a new job as a getaway driver, his first in nine years. In the afternoon, Harry informs Miguel, the manager of his fishing boat, that he will be out of town briefly, then visits town prostitute Monique for the evening. Harry confides in Monique that after his three-year-old son died eight years earlier, his wife abandoned him and he failed at his attempt in the fishing business. When Monique asks if his new job is with criminals, Harry admits that it is, but explains that he is doing it not for money, but to prove to himself that he is still alive. Harry asks Monique to keep his savings in his absence and she offers to pray for him. Harry departs the following morning, driving into Spain to a prearranged location where a staged accident blocks a bus transporting several prisoners. Harry spots the man he is to pick up, Paul Rickard, fleeing the bus and meets him away from the accident. Excited to be free after nine months in jail, Paul orders Harry to make a detour from their planned trip to Perpignan, France in order to meet his girl friend, Claudine Scherrer. Although annoyed by this change of plans, Harry agrees. During the drive, Harry learns that Paul is not a safecracker, as Harry assumed, but a hit man. Upon arriving at a small village, Paul summons Claudie, who has been waiting there for several weeks. Paul questions Harry about his past and learning how long it has been since his last "job," mockingly calls him "an old man." Before leaving the room, Harry that demands Paul show him respect. The following morning, the trip resumes with Claudie riding with Harry as Paul hides in a cramped space behind the car's two seats. Later, Paul continues to scoff at Harry's restrained manner and begins calling him "uncle." That afternoon at a café, Paul and Claudie watch in alarm as two policemen question Harry about an escaped prisoner. Harry's quick thinking, however, allows Paul to hide while Claudie returns to the car with a hitchhiker. Reassured, the police depart, after which Harry dumps the hitchhiker and retrieves Paul. With Paul hiding in the back, Claudie and Harry talk and he gradually reveals details of his personal life and his boat. Later, as the drive continues, Paul expresses his admiration for the directness of old-time American gangsters during the Depression, but Harry wonders if crime and violence were ever simple. That afternoon as planned, the car that is to meet Paul begins following Harry. At nightfall just outside of Perpignan, the cars rendezvous, but Paul grows uneasy when he does not recognize the two occupants. One of the men pays Harry and orders him to depart, but, suspicious, he circles back and follows the men, Paul and Claudie into an old warehouse. Upon finding Paul tied up, Harry attacks the men and frees Paul. Back at the car, Harry insists they return to Portugal immediately, but Paul says they must rest briefly. Across the Spanish border at a small hotel, Paul trims his long, curly hair while Harry demands an explanation for why the men who so carefully arranged Paul's breakout now want him killed. Paul remains evasive and cocky, but after Harry departs for his room angrily, Claudie tells Paul that they need the older man not only to drive, but because he owns a boat that could transport them to North Africa. Agreeing to placate Harry, Paul goes to Harry's room and relates that he was hired five years earlier to assassinate an important political figure, but the attempt failed. Everyone associated with the plan went into hiding, but Paul was discovered and arrested a year ago. Six months into his sentence, Paul received notification that he was being broken out and assumed that the "hit" attempt would be repeated. Confused by the strangers at the rendezvous, Paul admits he is unsure who arranged for his breakout. Claudie points out that, regardless of who is behind the attempt, all of them will now be hunted, and she and Paul return to their room. Much later that night, at Paul's urging, Claudie goes to Harry's room and has sex with him. The next morning, the trip resumes and after they cross the Portuguese border, two cars begin following the BMW. Harry outraces them and, when the cars continue their pursuit, drives off the main road onto a dirt road and activates a speed booster engine modification. After a treacherous chase over winding mountain roads, Harry forces the larger car off the road while the other car drives past them. Concerned that he has damaged his car's engine, Harry pulls over to examine it. The second car abruptly returns and Paul shoots out a tire and kills the driver, after which Harry blows up the car. The trio drives away but Harry pulls over, explaining he must rest. Claudie wakens Harry a little later and tells him that she will stay with him. That night, they arrive in Albufeira and Harry directs the couple to Miguel after giving Paul his car keys and his gun. Concerned that Harry will be defenseless, Claudie gives him her small pistol then admits that she will not stay with him after all. Harry contacts Monique to retrieve his money, but at her apartment senses something awry. When a stranger prepares to attack Harry, Monique pushes the man, allowing Harry to escape out the window. Seeing Harry fleeing the building, Paul and Claudie drive recklessly toward the shore but stall the car. At the beach, Harry finds Miguel murdered. Seeing Paul and Claudie nearby, Harry yells a warning to them, only to be shot by a man waiting near the boat. After Paul kills the man, he and Claudie reach Harry as he crumples to the ground dying. Observing that Harry has been dead for years, Paul grabs Claudie, and they hurry to the boat and their freedom.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||GP||Premiere Info:||New York opening: 7 Jul 1971|
|Release Date:||1971||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Color (Metrocolor)||Distributions Co:||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.|
|Duration(mins):||92 or 99-100||Country:||Spain and United States|
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