June 23rd, 2020


Movie Critique – Murder By Contract

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: Often called as film-making to bare essentials, this sparse, witty-laced, contract killer movie is set apart from other film noirs. 

Murder By Contract is a 1958 American film noir crime film. The plot centers on a hit man who has been assigned to kill a woman. Directed by Irving Lerner, the movie wasn’t an instant hit. Yet it made into the Columbia Picture Film Noir Classics and has been influential movie for director Martin Scorsese. The film was based on an original screenplay by Bin Simcoe, although it is generally believed that the final script was completed by Academy Award nominee Ben Maddow, a fellow documentarian. 

Claude (portrayed Vince Edwards) finds murder as the best option to fast track to success and have the America Dream come true - a house, money and everything material that shows him a success. His job as a hitman proves a profitable one until his next target ends up being a woman.

The film was shot in seven straight days in February of 1958 in Los Angeles, on a shoestring budget by a company called Outfit Productions. Director Irving Lerner was one of those 50s director who came to Hollywood from New York and caused a ripple big enough to change the future of film making.

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