Dial M For Murder: Contract (BBC-1 27 May 1974, Ian Hendry, Robert Lang)

Ian Hendry in 1974 BBC drama Contract. An episode from the anthology series Dial M For Murder.

In the Harold Pinterish Contract an episode from anthology series Dial M For Murder, a pair of hit men, Stone and Drew, are tasked with performing a hit on a man called Leonidas, who just happens to live on his own highly secure island. To try and get Leonidas off the island Stone kidnaps his girlfriend Helen.

After the end of the war Stone and Lang saw their career as a natural extension of what they had been doing in battle. Stone is the killer and Drew is the planner. Drew thinks Stone is taking things too far though when he announces that Helen must die too.

As befitting a Roy Clarke story the dialogue is excellent, many people forget that he has written his fair share of drama over the years. Hendry turns in another brilliant performance as Stone and it’s worth watching purely for the sight of a bewigged Hendry posing as extremely camp hairdresser Maurice sneaking his way onto the island – in a bizarre plot strand, Stone and Drew have “persuaded” Helen’s regular hairdresser Jerome to stand aside.

There is a great twist when it’s revealed that Helen is actually the one who has put the contract out on Leonidas and also has something in mind for Stone too!

Dial M For Murder Contract BBC 1974

Robert Lang and Ian Hendry as a pair of hit men in the second story Contract.

classic quotes
“Although he’s big, he’s light on his feet. He used to dance a lot.”

“I’ve always wanted to meet a client, see the smile on the face of a satisfied customer.”

production details
UK / BBC One / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast 27 May 1974 at 9.25pm

Writer: Roy Clarke / Production Design: Sally Hulke / Director: Simon Langton

Series: Dial M For Murder Episode 2 (of 13)

Ian Hendry as Stone
Robert Lang as Drew
Catherine Schell as Helen
Guido Adorni as Italian Businessman
Roland Curram as Jerome
Sheila Brennan as Eunice
Robert Arnold as Sprague
David Nettreim as Leonidas

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