I'm a big fan of British director Stephen Frears, so when I noticed that his first film, The Hit (1984) was available in a Criterion edition I immediately ordered it. It has a compelling cast with Tim Roth in his film debut with outstanding established actors like John Hurt, Terence Stamp, and Fernando Rey (known for his appearances in Luis Bunuel films). This is the story of a career criminal, Willie Parker (Terence Stamp) who rats out his associates on a caper that allows for him to get immunity in Spain for his efforts. When the boss gets out of prison he dispatches two hit men (John Hurt and Tim Roth) to bring Parker to him in Paris so that he can have the pleasure of having the last word as he is dispatched. The setting and crime angle brought to mind Jonathan Glazer's 2000 Sexy Beast starring Ray Winterstone and Ben Kingsley, which also concerns British gangsters in Spain and was produced by The Hit's producer, Jermey Thomas (Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence and The Last Emperor). It is one of those films that is many things at once: a suspense crime story, a philosophical story of the contemplation of life and death, and a road film. It also has a great soundtrack with an opening sequence by Eric Clapton and Spanish Flamenco guitarist Paco de Luca. Overall it si a very accomplished first film, one that deserved to seen by more people than those who originally saw it. The Criterion features are:a commentary featuring director Stephen Frears and actors John Hurt and Tim Roth, Parkinson One-to-One: Terence Stamp, a 1988 television interview with the actor, and a booklet featuring an essay by film critic Graham Fuller.