Cinematic cars: Porsche 911 Targa and Alfa Romeo Montreal in “The Marseilles Contract” (1974)
The greatest segment of Cinematic Cars ever? Unfortunately, despite featuring some big names (Anthony Quinn, Michael Caine), the film itself doesn’t appear to be widely or easily available for rent (though it is only able to muster a 5.7/10 rating from IMDb users, so maybe it’s not without good reason). No matter— we may have already caught the best part: a lively pas de deux between Caine in a Montreal and some chick in a Targa, complete with a grating pseudo-Gallic Roy Budd score.
From a 1975 New York Times synopsis:
“The Destructors,” once reportedly titled “The Marseilles Connection,” involves Anthony Quinn, as the harried American narcotics chief in Paris, in a variety of murderous machinations to eliminate James Mason, as the Marseilles kingpin of the international dope traffic. Mr. Mason, it turns out in a highly convoluted plot, has knocked off our hero’s best agents, thus driving him to Maurice Ronet, as a seemingly helpful Parisian police inspector, and Michael Caine, as a professional hit man, womanizer and old friend, and others, to do the job.
If Paris’s streets, bridges and Metro and the Marseilles waterfront never were lovelier, the script by Judd Bernard, who also produced, rarely delves deeply into the characters of his cast. Speed is the essence of director Robert Parrish’s approach, which includes shootings, stabbings, car chases, pay-offs and wisps of amour and sex between our hero and Alexandra Stewart and Mr. Caine and Maureen Kerwin, as our villain’s pretty daughter, and even a brief appearance by former Presidential aide Pierre Salinger as a top embassy official.
It’s ungallant to reveal who finally does the deed, but Mr. Mason is more casual than sinister. And Mr. Quinn is simply as muscular and disheveled as the film’s complicated plot (source).