Search - Scorpio on DVD

Actors: Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Paul Scofield, John Colicos, Gayle Hunnicutt
Director: Michael Winner
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
PG     2000     1hr 54min

Burt Lancaster (Field of Dreams), Alain Delon (Once a Thief) and Paul Scofield (King Lear) star in this masterful spy thriller filmed on location in Washington, Paris and Vienna.With its intense action, breathtaking suspen...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Paul Scofield, John Colicos, Gayle Hunnicutt
Director: Michael Winner
Creators: Robert Paynter, Michael Winner, Walter Mirisch, David W. Rintels, Gerald Wilson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Espionage, Bruce Lee, Burt Lancaster, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
DVD Release Date: 01/18/2000
Original Release Date: 04/19/1973
Theatrical Release Date: 04/19/1973
Release Year: 2000
Run Time: 1hr 54min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French

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Movie Reviews

A Rare Masterpiece For The Spy Genre.
Gus Mauro | Brandon,mb | 02/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Burt Lancaster plays an aging CIA agent who's finally had enough of the spy life and wants to quit the business so he can spend more time with his family. But his trecherous Bosses don't want him to quit so they assign Alain Delon A.K.A SCORPIO to eliimate him. Fantastic script Delon's performance in the film is one of his best even if his english is sometimes off a bit. the highlight of the film is the chase sequence between Lancaster & Delon throughout the Streets and Alleyways Of Venice. It's a captivating spy film done with the right amount of action and suspense. Most Of Today's spy films don't even come to this masterpiece. And even if they could they would still fail. This film was a true gem for it's time and cannot and will not ever be replaced or duplicated."
A "must see" for Delon fans
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 08/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Though the plot is somewhat muddled, locations change at a dizzying speed between Washington, Vienna, and Paris, has some improbable situations, and occasionally stilted dialogue, it's highly entertaining, and has an excellent cast, especially Alain Delon.
He's fabulous as "code name: Scorpio", conveying so much meaning with the subtlest of gestures. He's also superb in the action scenes, so lithe and fast, and seems to be doing all his own stunt work...and he certainly must be one of the most spectacularly gorgeous actors to have ever graced the screen.
To top it off, Scorpio has a sensitive side: He likes flowers, and most of all, cats...enough to make a woman's heart flutter !Lancaster is very good as Cross, the spy who wants to get "out of the game", Paul Scofield is great as always as his Russian cohort, and Joanne Linville lovely as Cross' wife.
The cinematography (Robert Paytner) is exceptional, and Jerry Fielding's marvelous score is atmospheric and at times almost symphonic.You may have to see it several times to make any sense of the plot, but this is a very watchable film, has a lot going for it in many ways, and it has to be Delon's finest English speaking performance, which is a good enough reason to make this one a keeper."
A melodramatic and threatening spy film!
Roberto Frangie | Leon, Gto. Mexico | 01/13/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Retirement is not always possible for a spy, particularly an agent caught in the no-man's-land between the two superpowers... Cross (Burt Lancaster) is such a spy in Michael Winner's 'Scorpio.'

Released at a time when disclosures about CIA and FBI abuses were receiving wider acceptance, 'Scorpio' might have become a controversial success, but was forestalled by Costa-Gavras' more factual 'State of Siege.'

A melodramatic and threatening spy film, 'Scorpio' had two rival protagonists: Cross, an experienced CIA agent being hunted by his former colleagues, and a former French paratroop officer, Jean Laurier (Alain Delon), now a 'CIA contract button man,' a professional assassin, code-name Scorpio...

Irritated by the Frenchman's independence, the CIA chief McLeod (John Colicos) has had heroin planted in his bedroom to make the hired killer more pliable... Threatened with a drug arrest, Scorpio has no choice but to accept the assignment to kill Cross, although McLeod sugars the pill with promises of a fat bonus and Cross' job as the CIA's man in the Middle East...

Although told that Cross has been a double-agent working for the "opposition," Scorpio remains doubtful... In the meantime, by a series of clever tricks and tactics, Cross has not only managed to evade the CIA men following him, but has arrived in the favorite city for cinematic intrigue, Vienna, Austria...

The most part of the film's action and some of its best sequences take place in the country on the Danube River where the mystery surrounding Cross deepens... In a nighttime rendezvous on a deserted street, Cross is met by a Viennese worker who is whistling, perhaps as a signal or out of habit, the "lnternationale."

The husky-voiced Cross says, "It's been a long time since Spain," to which the man responds, "The best died there," and gives Cross directions to meet two more "cut-outs." This kind of political reference occurred frequently in the film's dialog as part of the sympathetic characterization of Cross as envisioned by an intelligent and well written script...

In a sequence that was easily the equal of some of the best spy films, Cross and his Soviet counterpart, Sergei Zharkov (Paul Scofield), laughingly discuss their mutual reject for their bosses and the identical young men who support both the CIA and KGB... While Cross accepts Zharkov's evaluation of themselves as a pair of premature anti-fascists, he can not understand Zharkov's professed belief in Communism after years spent in a Stalinist labor camp and the recent invasion of Czechoslovakia... In a later scene when Zharkov tries to get help from his superiors and is refused, the embassy official is given a dose of Zharkov's irony when told of his resemblance to another man 'who didn't leave his name, but was trying to build socialism in one country out of the bones from a Charnel house' -as strong an indictment of Stalin's Russia as any Cold War film, but more intelligent and more skillfully presented...

The film's major element was the state of tension in which the audience was held, until the final minutes viewers could be certain of Cross true identity, and CIA director, the eccentric hated human being represented by McLeod...

The CIA chief appeared more ruthless than any other character... He was willing to frame Scorpio on a false charge, to endanger his own agents needlessly and even to have Cross' wife murdered in an unsuccessfully burglary attempt...

There was even a hint of Nazi persecution, since one of Cross' wartime friends, Max (Shmul Rodensky), was killed during an interrogation conducted by a local Viennese thug who had laughed cleverly at the mention of Max's imprisonment in a concentration camp...

The problem of Cross's guilt or innocence concentrated on Scorpio, who knew enough to distrust McLeod yet is pushed to fulfill his assignment... In a nighttime scene shot in a huge enclosed botanical garden, Scorpio meets Cross and their dialog is a clever mixture of plot development and characterization... To the Frenchman's direct question whether he is a traitor or not, Cross tells Scorpio that he reminds him of a little girl in her white Communion dress looking for God, but that since Scorpio has the soul of a torturer his need is even greater... Cross denies being a double-agent and tells Scorpio that McLeod wanted him eliminated as well...

Scorpio's conversations gave the film its uniquely complex political coloration... Lancaster gave his character the air of a worldly wise cynic whose ties to the Russians were as mercenary as they were emotional..

With considerable assets in three separate bank accounts, Cross' dismissal of Zharkov's Communist blind faith had a firm basis... Yet, Cross had all the 1930's liberal hypotheses: The whistled "Internationale," the reference to Spain, the twenty-year friendship with Zharkov, his obvious affection for Max and Cross' contacts among Washington, D.C. area Blacks were all hints of his real political sympathies... His warnings to Scorpio were justified, and Cross's treason seemed minor compared to the CIA's criminal behavior... The traditional reference points (affection for his wife and friends) all proclaimed Cross' innocence, and in fact, the CIA stood more condemned in the film...

If it hadn't been for its irregular pacing, the juxtaposition of slow, talky scenes with far too gymnastic thriller consequences, 'Scorpio' might have been a domestic 'The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.' The spy film that did eventually serve this role appeared in 1975, in Sydney Pollack's 'Three Days of the Condor.'"