Scorpio (film)

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Directed by Michael Winner
Produced by Walter Mirisch
Written by David W. Rintels
Gerald Wilson
Starring Burt Lancaster
Alain Delon
Paul Scofield
John Colicos
Gayle Hunnicutt
J.D. Cannon
Music by Jerry Fielding
The Mirisch Corporation
Scimitar Production
Distributed by United Artists (1973, original) MGM (2003, DVD)
Release dates
April 19, 1973 (April 19, 1973)
Running time
114 min.
Country United States
Box office $1,400,000 (US/ Canada rentals)[1]
1,052,001 admissions (France)[2]

Scorpio is a 1973 spy film directed by Michael Winner. It stars Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon and Paul Scofield.


Cross (Burt Lancaster) is an experienced but retiring Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent and assassin who is training free-lance hit-man Jean Laurier (Alain Delon) (alias "Scorpio") to replace him. Cross is teaching him as much about protecting himself from his patrons and never trusting anyone as how to get away clean.

The CIA tells Scorpio to kill Cross for suspected treason and collaboration with the Russians. Scorpio is threatened with jail on a false narcotics charge if he doesn't cooperate.

In a failed break-in at Cross's home, CIA agents shoot and kill his wife Sarah (Joanne Linville), causing Cross to go on the run and seek protection from the Russians, who want the secrets he knows and possible revenge for past assassinations. Cross successfully evades capture by the CIA and manages to kill the CIA director responsible for his wife's death. However, the CIA gains evidence that Cross is working with Scorpio's girlfriend.

Enraged by this betrayal, Scorpio corners and kills his girlfriend and Cross, but not before Cross imparts his last words of wisdom. Moments later, Scorpio is also assassinated, as Cross said he would be when "They" were done with him. The viewer is left to speculate on who is behind Scorpio's death.


Critical reception[edit]

Reviewing Scorpio for Time Out magazine, Geoff Andrew took a negative view of the film: "Winner directs with typically crass abandon, wasting a solid performance from Lancaster".[3]


Scorpio was released to DVD by MGM Home Entertainment on April 1st, 2003 as a Region 1 widescreen DVD.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Big Rental Films of 1973", Variety, 9 January 1974 p 60
  2. ^ Box office information for film at Box Office Story
  3. ^ "Scorpio", in Time Out Film Guide 2011, Time Out, London, 2010. ISBN 1846702089 (p. 936).

External links[edit]