The liquidator

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German title The liquidator
Original title The Evil That Men Do
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1984
length 90 minutes
Age rating FSK 18
Director J. Lee Thompson
script David Lee Henry
John Crowther
Fred A. Wyler
(not mentioned in credits)
production Pancho Kohner
music Ken Thorne
camera Xavier Cruz
cut Peter Lee-Thompson

The Liquidator is an American action film that can also be assigned to the Thriller genre. The film was directed by J. Lee Thompson , Charles Bronson plays the leading role.

David Lee Henry and John Crowther took the novel by R. Lance Hill as a template and wrote the script.


Clement Molloch is a doctor who makes his living in Latin America as a specialist in torture . He advises various interrogation experts from different countries in this area and demonstrates in his "lectures" how to torture people. In front of the experts, people are brutally tortured to death. Molloch, known as “the doctor”, is known and hated by the population. Molloch receives moral support from his sister Claire, who accompanies him. He is at peace with himself because, in his own opinion, he is only defending the security of the state. The film begins with one of these lectures: Molloch, guest of the Suriname government , tortures the critical journalist Jorge Hidalgo to death, while at the same time opponents of Molloch try to prepare his car with a bomb. However, the attempt fails and one of the assassins dies.

Hector Lomelin, a friend of Hidalgo, visits the former agent and professional killer Holland. He worked for the CIA and has retired from the business. He lives in the Cayman Islands and is enjoying retirement . Lomelin asks Holland to murder Molloch. The motive is revenge on the one hand, and service to humanity on the other. At first Holland refused, but when he studied the testimony of numerous torture victims, he decided to accept the assignment free of charge. He goes to Guatemala , where Molloch lives as a guest of the government. Holland disguises itself as an American tourist. He is accompanied by Hidalgo's widow Rhiana and her daughter Sarah. In Guatemala he meets a liaison officer who informs him about Molloch's whereabouts and his habits, and he also procures weapons for Holland. He first tries to observe Molloch's habits, when a high-ranking intelligence officer becomes aware of him. This is in close contact with the CIA agent at the American embassy. The CIA officially distances itself from Molloch, but secretly covers it.

After Holland got an idea of ​​the situation, he decided to take action: he murdered the secret service officer and one of his colleagues and kidnapped Molloch's sister, her bodyguard was also killed by Holland. He withdraws to the country with the hostage. Rhiana, who accompanies Holland, on the one hand wants justice, on the other hand she is also repelled by Holland's cold-bloodedness. A showdown takes place in the country: Holland first violently gets rid of some pursuers in a wild car chase, kills two CIA agents and finally lures Molloch into a quarry. Molloch had meanwhile tortured Holland's liaison to death and took Sarah hostage. In the quarry he tries to exchange his daughter for his sister. However, since the sister did not survive the chase in the trunk of Holland's car, Holland can no longer exchange them. However, he receives unexpected help from the quarry: poor miners who work there recognize the "doctor" and decide to lynch him. After Holland shot Molloch's companion and freed Sarah, he no longer needs to kill Molloch himself. This is done by the miners who chop Molloch to death with small pickaxes.

On the Cayman Islands, the widow Hidalgos tries a new beginning with Holland.


"A lurid action film that reveals some criticism of dictatorship and torture, but (not only in the cast of the main role) slips into the well-known clichés of vigilante films."


The film had its world premiere on March 15, 1984 in France and on September 14, 1984 it was shown for the first time in the USA. It grossed just over $ 13 million at the box office. After it started in West Germany , 337,765 cinema-goers saw it.

The film was shot in Mexico and should initially be produced by Cannon Films . After disputes over financing, ITC and Tri-Star took over production. The original title is The Evil that men do . This is a quote from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar Act 3, Scene 2 (Marc Anton: "The evil that men do lives after them; The good is often interred with their bones".).

The film is one of a series of vigilante thrillers that made Charles Bronson successful in the 1970s and 1980s. What is remarkable about the film is that the United States' double standards regarding human rights violations are critically discussed. In 1983/1984 Guatemala was ruled by a pro-American military dictatorship that was massively supported by the Reagan administration .

The film was unindexed in September 2018.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for The Liquidator . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry (PDF). Template: FSK / maintenance / type not set and Par. 1 longer than 4 characters
  2. The liquidator. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  3. The Evil That Men Do on (English), accessed December 25, 2011
  4. TOP 100 DEUTSCHLAND 1984 on , accessed on December 25, 2011
  5. The Liquidator with Charles Bronson is no longer indexed