Murder by Contract is the story of a paid killer. The production has the benefit of mounting suspense, after a haphazard opening, and the story is sufficiently interesting.
Interest centers around Claude (Vince Edwards), an unemotional executioner who takes on a major assignment in Los Angeles after handling several eastern commitments with speed and dispatch. His victim here is a woman, who is to testify against his underworld employer. Events are given slick motivation in the screenplay, as two efforts fail to kill the woman who is surrounded by guards in her palatial home.
Edwards is strongly cast as the killer and provides a quiet menace which pays off in audience attention. Direction by Irving Lerner is brisk as he persuasively guns his characters, several of whom are topnotch. Phillip Pine and Herschel Bernardi lend conviction as the killer’s confederates, jittery because of the casualness with which he undertakes his assignment.
A standout music score by Perry Botkin, using only a guitar which he plays to perfection, gives fine atmospheric backing.