Action, Crime, Thriller

The Outside Man (1972)

Comments Off on The Outside Man (1972) 29 July 2012

Studio: MGM

Theatrical Release: January 1973

DVD-R Release: June 28, 2012

Director: Jacques Deray


Review by James Klein

I got that tingling feeling once again. That feeling of never knowing a film existed, seeing it without reading any reviews or comments before hand and walking away with more than satisfied feeling. This happens very rarely and yet I have had the honor in watching the little known film The Outside Man and having the urge to tell the world how great this 70’s crime drama is.

Jean-Louis Trintignant stars as Lucien, a French hit man who travels to assassinate a high profile crime boss. Lucien is able to get inside the crime boss’s mansion very easily and with the help of the boss’s beautiful wife (Angie Dickinson). Lucien knocks off the crime boss and quickly escapes. Within moments, he is being perused by Italian hit man Lenny (the underrated Roy Scheider, one of my favorite actors of all-time) who just seems to be on Lucien’s tale all too quickly. With the help of a cocktail waitress at a strip club (Ann-Margret who is just drop dead gorgeous in this) Lucien tries to get out of the country while the entire Mob family is out to get him. The only question though is how did Lenny get to Lucien so quickly after the hit? Can Lucien leave without knowing the answers?

From the very opening credits I knew I was going to like this film. The Los Angeles locations are stunning and the loud 70’s funk music accompanying the city landscape gave me the chills. God I love the 1970’s! While Trintignant is a bit of a dull anti-hero, the rest of the cast is fantastic. It was nice to see Scheider as a silent villain, Dickinson always makes a great femme fatale and Ann-Margret can give a gay man a hard on. If only modern actresses could be as beautiful and classy as her. Rounding out the cast are small roles by Jackie Earl Haley, Alex Rocco, and Talia Shire.

The action scenes are well directed by Deray and like most film directors of the 70’s, he allows the stunts and chases (foot and car) to be filmed in glorious long shots and without a lot of cutting. Oh and the action scenes are real and the blood that is splattered is not done in post-production off a computer. Part of me wonders if maybe The Outside Man is just a good movie and I like it more than I should because of my dislike for what has become Hollywood films. They don’t make films like these anymore.

MGM’s DVD looks fine but during some of the night sequences, the picture does get a bit too dark. There are also some specs and crackles at times but they aren’t that noticeable. The sound is fine and the dialog can be heard clearly. Now for the good part: The Outside Man is rated PG however there is one sequence in a strip club that contains numerous women completely naked. Full frontal nudity boys! Was the ratings board asleep when they viewed this? According to imdb, there is an X rated cut floating around that has accidentally gotten out and labeled “PG” when in fact it is not. MGM has released the X rated version . Now, I would say this would get an R rating now but at the time, full frontal was mostly shown in X rated films. Regardless, MGM’s DVD of The Outside Man is completely uncut.

With a story that had me wondering who double-crossed who, some great action scenes and stunts, a fantastic cast and plenty of beautiful eye candy on display, The Outside Man was a lot of fun, an enjoyable movie to watch and a nostalgic time capsule of what Los Angeles looked like in the early 70’s. Highly recommended!

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