Monday, June 27, 2011

Jean-Louis Trintignant, Roy Scheider & Ann Margaret in The Outside Man (1972)

Obscurity factor: 8

This is a good example of the neo-noir genre. French hit man Lucien Bellon (Trintignant) arrives in Los Angeles to do a job. He checks into the Beverly Hills Hilton then takes his gun and his money and heads over to the palatial home of mobster, Victor Kovacs and kills him. Upon returning to his hotel he finds he's been checked out and all his belongings have been taken, including his passport - he's essentially stranded. As he goes to try and do something about it he's shot at in the parking lot. What follows is a game of cat and mouse played between him and another hit man (Roy Scheider) on his tail that leads him through the seediest parts of 1970's LA and throws him together with Georgia Engel (of Mary Tyler Moore fame) and Ann Margaret. As he unravels the puzzle he finds himself in he begins to be able to turn the tables on his pursuers.

This film has some strange contradictions. It's neo-noir, action film and psychological study all rolled into one. Somehow the sum is greater than the parts, and the film works. It's fun to see Los Angeles in the 1970's and the suspense is well maintained through out the film. Look for Angie Dickenson, Alex Rocco and John Hillerman in small roles.

While not available on DVD, this film can be found on VHS. I saw it the other night on the uber-strange American Life TV network where I also saw Bunny O'Hare. The trailer is above, uploaded to YouTube by SorryHaters.

Obscurity factor: 8 (largely unknown now, not on DVD, known to some 70's film buffs)

1 comment:

  1. I think I've seen this when I was a kid. I grew up in 1970s Los Angeles. Seem to remember it coming on TV during an afternoon matinee :)

    It seems that Roy Scheider & Ann Margaret work well together. 52 Pickup was a good film, too :)