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|Alain Delon||Jean 'Scorpio' Laurier|
|Howard Morton||Heck Thomas|
|Robert Emhardt||Man in hotel|
It is about a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent named Cross (Burt Lancaster), a successful but retiring assassin, who is training "Scorpio" to replace him. Cross is teaching him as much about protecting himself from his patrons and never trusting anyone as how to get away clean.
The CIA tells "Scorpio", Jean Laurier (Alain Delon), to kill Cross for suspected treason and collaboration with the Russians. Scorpio is threatened with jail on a false narcotics charge if he doesn't cooperate.
In a failed break-in of Cross's home, CIA agents shoot and kill his wife Sarah (Joanne Linville), causing Cross to go on the run and seek protection from the Russians, who want the secrets he knows and maybe revenge for past acts. Cross is very successful at evading capture, and even kills the CIA director who was responsible for his wife's death. However, the CIA gains evidence that Cross is working with Scorpio's girlfriend.
Enraged by this betrayal, Scorpio corners and kills his girlfriend and Cross, but not before Cross imparts his last words of wisdom. Moments later, Scorpio is assassinated, as Cross said he would be when "They" were done with him. The viewer is left to speculate on who is behind Scorpio's death.