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The Last Contract (DVD)

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Genre: Crime & Thriller - Thriller / Theatrical Release: 1997 / Director: Kjell Sundvall / Actors: Mikael Persbrandt, Michael Kitchen ... / DVD released 11 September, 2000 at Eureka Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL, Widescreen

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      22.01.2007 15:39
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      A Swedish 'Day of the Jackal'

      It may be sick of me but I really do enjoy movies about assassins and hit men.

      This film is about the unsolved assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986. It presents a fictional but plausible account of what could have happened. Mr Palme seems to have excelled at producing enemies due to outspoken views. Whether his death was the act of a shadowy conspiracy or the work of a 'lone gunman' we'll probably never know.

      The acting from all parties is fantastic. I particularly enjoy films where I don't recognise any of the actors. In this film only the actor who plays the English assassin (Michael Kitchen) has a familiar face but I couldn't say where from. He's particularly icy as he makes his plans for the murder. Researching fall guys to take the blame, planting red herrings, planning the hit. This is a good primer for anyone looking the make the career step to contract killer.

      Mikael Persbrandt is also outstanding as the police officer who stumbles onto the conspiracy to kill Palme. The film is told from his point of view, years after the events have happened. Scared out of his wits he tries to explain to an unbelieving friend what happened.

      The actual assassination is not shown. This film is about the two years leading up to the murder and the immediate aftermath.

      If you liked 'Day of the Jackal' (the original, not the stinker of a remake where Bruce Willis' wig was the best actor), then this is a must see. It's original, exciting and highly believable which makes it even more chilling.

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    • Product Details

      Made in 1997 and directed by Kjell Sundvall, The Last Contract is based around the murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme in 1986, who was shot while walking home from the cinema. Palmer's murderer or murderers were never caught and his mysterious assassination has been largely forgotten by the world. This speculative and fictional thriller suggests that Palme was the victim of a right-wing conspiracy, with even the Americans tacitly and indirectly involved, worried as they were about Palme's ambitions to turn Scandinavia into a nuclear-free zone. Mikael Persbrandt plays Roger Nyman, a Swedish police officer transferred to the Fraud Squad who discovers that an assassin responsible for a killing in Johannesburg is now contracted to kill Palme. However, his superiors take him off the case when he presents them with his findings and tries to follow up the case alone. Fearful, isolated, enraged and increasingly estranged from his family, he contrasts sharply with Michael Kitchen's suave but coolly lethal British contract killer. Though Palme's fate is foreknown, The Last Contract nonetheless succeeds in pulling you into its maelstrom of intrigue until virtually the final frame. --David Stubbs