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Plot, Details & Awards

The Liquidator

104min.
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Plot & Details

This James Bond parody brings a new sort of jet-set secret agent to the screen -- one who hates flying, is afraid to shoot people, and would rather stay at home! Col. Mostyn (Trevor Howard) is the head of a special branch of British intelligence who is appalled to discover that a number of his best agents are either leaving the force or have turned out to be traitors. It is decided that Mostyn and his men need a special agent to ferret out those who leave his employ while knowing too much and silence them permanently. Mostyn decides the right man for the job is his old army buddy Boysie Oakes (Rod Taylor), but there's a bit of a problem -- while the job requires a globe-trotting assassin who can stare calmly into the face of death, Oakes is a mild-mannered fun seeker who is terrified of airplanes and faints at the sight of blood. None of this dissuades Mostyn, who still gives Oakes the assignment, but when he finds out that flying and guns are a big part of his new job, he hires someone else to do the dirty work for him. Oakes eventually develops a taste for the cars, women, gadgets, and danger of his new career, but the real acid test comes when he actually has to go on an assignment himself. The Liquidator was directed by Jack Cardiff, who along with a respected career as a director was one of the most distinguished cinematographers in the British cinema, lensing such classics as The Red Shoes, The African Queen, and Black Narcissus.

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