The Amsterdam Kill (1977)

Amsterdam 1
Country: Hong Kong | United States
Director: Robert Clouse
Starring: Robert Mitchum | Bradford Dillman | Richard Egan | Leslie Nielson | Key Luke |
Writers: Robert Clouse | Gregory Teifer
Music: Hal Schaefer

The Amsterdam Kill promises ‘the meanest Mitchum movie yet.’ That may be so, but he’s only mean because he’s so damn incompetent. His character falls into every trap imaginable. He is set-up, beaten up, kidnapped, drugged, and humiliated at every turn. It’s only at the end of the film he redeems himself – with the aid of a bulldozer – and even then it’s only after he’s been rescued by an ally. Yep, he’d been captured again.

That’s not to say The Amsterdam Kill is a truly dreadful film – it’s not, but the promotional material, which features Mitchum looking like a Dirty Harry style avenger of justice – holding a veritable cannon in his hand – is a downright lie.

In the film Mitchum plays Larry Quinlan, a washed up DEA agent, who was fired for skimming off the top of his busts. He is given a shot at redemption when a drug cartel kingpin (Key Luke) wants to ‘get out’. He promises Quinlan information on the drug pipeline – which starts in Hong Kong, and ships the goods to Amsterdam for international distribution – in exchange for a new identity in the United States. Quinlan agrees to the deal and reaches out to some old contacts; these include Odums (Bradford Dillman), Ridgeway (Richard Egan), and Knight (Leslie Nielson). From here everything goes pearshaped, and people start dying.

The Amsterdam Kill was directed by Robert Clouse (Enter the Dragon) and produced by Raymond Chow (a Golden Harvest film), and despite Mitchum’s charisma never fully reaches its potential. There are a one or two good action setpieces that keep the story afloat, and good location sequences in Hong Kong and Amsterdam – but as a whole, the film doesn’t come together.

This one is for Mitchum completists only.
Amsterdam 2

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