Assassin for Hire

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Assassin for Hire
Assassin for Hire FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Michael McCarthy
Produced by Julian Wintle
Written by Rex Rienits
Based on TV play by Rex Rienits
Starring Sydney Tafler
Ronald Howard
Katharine Blake
John Hewer
Music by Ronnie Emanuel
Cinematography Robert LaPresle
Edited by Eric Hodges
Distributed by Anglo-Amalgamated Film Distributors (UK)
William H. Horne & David Dietz (US)
Release date
  • April 1951 (1951-04)
Running time
67 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Assassin for Hire is a 1951 British crime film directed by Michael McCarthy and starring Sydney Tafler, Ronald Howard and Katharine Blake.[1] Its plot follows a contract killer who becomes stricken with remorse when he is led to believe he has murdered his brother.


Antonio Riccardi, a young British criminal of Italian heritage, works as a professional contract killer in order to pay for his gifted younger brother's violin lessons so that he can escape from a life of poverty and crime. A series of mistakes lead him to wrongly believe he has killed his brother, and he confesses his crimes to the police.[2]



It was the first feature film made by Anglo-Amalgamated. It was made at Merton Park Studios from a screenplay by Rex Rienits.

Rienits based on the script on a television film Assassin for Hire which was screened by the BBC in September 1950.[3][4] This in turn was based on a radio play.[5] Rienits later turned the story into a novel.[6]

It was intended as a supporting feature, although it may have been shown as a headline feature in some cinemas.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Chibnall & McFarlane p.98
  3. ^ Chibnall & McFarlane p.97-98
  4. ^ "Australian's Television Play To Be Filmed.". The Sunday Herald. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 5 November 1950. p. 6. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "Latest Fiction.". The Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 8 November 1952. p. 7. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "CRIME SHELF.". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 8 November 1952. p. 2 Supplement: SUNDAY MAGAZINE. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 


  • Chibnall, Steve & McFarlane, Brian. The British 'B' Film. Palgrave MacMillan, 2009.

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