Murder By Contract (1958) Finally restored to its sparse black and white cinematography that influenced directors such as Jean-Luc Godard , Robert Bresson, and Martin Scorcese, Irving Lerner directs beat cool Vince Edwards as Claude, a hit man for hire, who provides an existentialist philosophy for murder that proves successful until his target becomes a woman. According to Fernando F. Croce, this noir “records Vince Edward’s moral emptiness with a sharpshooter’s calm.”
Get to know the territory. Live there
Among the people. Visit the parks
And the libraries and the local businesses.
Become familiar with the pace of life
Before walking up behind your victim
And popping a bullet in his head.
Go whistle up a dark alley for a switchblade.
Refuge in another country won’t protect you,
Not even London’s Scotland Yard.
Polonium 210 ravaged Alexander Litvinenko,
And when Vladimir Kara-Murza survived it,
He was shot dead on a bridge outside the Kremlin.
Don’t think being a woman will unnerve
A modern hired assassin, especially where
Freedom of the Press does not exist.
North Korea’s Great Leader allowed
Two kill teams. using a VX nerve agent,
To assault his step-brother in a Malaysian airport,
Because of a visit to Tokyo-Disneyland.
Power comes less from a gun these days
Than from State stockpiles of chemical weapons.
Business has always been about making a killing
And the CIA established rules of the game.
The instant Allende nationalized Chilean oil,
He signed his death warrant. It’s been blowback ever since,
From Guatemala to Iran to Vietnam to Iraq.
Take out a contract only after the trade off.
[Disposable Poem March 2, 2017]