Promotional ad for Hit lady
|Written by||Yvette Mimieux|
|Directed by||Tracy Keenan Wynn|
|Music by||George Aliceson Tipton|
|Country of origin||United States|
Shelley Hull (associate producer)
|Production location(s)||20th Century Fox Studios - 10201 Pico Blvd., Century City, Los Angeles|
|Running time||72 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Spelling-Goldberg Productions|
|Original release||October 8, 1974|
An artist works part-time as a syndicate assassin. She decides to do one last job, killing a labor leader Jeffrey Baine. However she can't go through with the job.
Hit Lady was written by Mimieux, and directed by Tracy Keenan Wynn.
By the early 1970s Mimieux was well established as an actor but was unhappy with the roles offered to female actors. "The women they [male screenwriters] write are all one dimensional," she said. "They have no complexity in their lives. It's all surface. There's nothing to play. They're either sex objects or vanilla pudding."
Mimieux had been writing for several years prior to this film, mostly journalism and short stories. She had the idea for a story about a Pirandello-like theme, "the study of a woman, the difference between what she appears to be and what she is: appearance vs reality." Mimieux says the more she thought about the character "the more I wanted to play her. Here was the kind of nifty, multifaceted part I'd been looking for. So instead of a short story, I wrote it as a film."
She wrote a thriller called Counterpoint about a female killer who used her attractive appearance to get close to her victims. She said the character was "not... a good housewife or sex object. The character I wrote is like an onion, layers upon layers, multi-facted, interesting, desirable, manipulative... It's about what people are saving to each other and what they mean."
Mimieux had appeared in two TV movies, Black Noon and Death Takes a Holiday, so took her script to producers Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg who submitted it to ABC as a TV movie. The network wanted some changes. "I created a totally amoral creature who killed people like you'd swat a fly, with no remorse, no regret," said Mimieux. "That was a little too strong for the network. So they made me soften her." They also insisted the script be retitled from Counterpoint to Hit Lady.
Tracy Keenan Wynn was the son of Keenan Wynn and grandson of Ed Wynn. He had developed a strong reputation as a screenwriter, his credits including The Longest Yard, The Glass House and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. This allowed him to make his directorial debut with this film. Her father Keenan made a cameo appearance as he wanted to be the first actor ever directed by his son. (It would be the only film he ever directed.)
Broadcast and reception
- "» A Made-for-TV Movie Review: Hit Lady (1974)". mysteryfile.com.
- "Hit Lady". Barnes & Noble.
- Brode, Douglas (17 January 2016). "Deadlier Than the Male: Femme Fatales in 1960s and 1970s Cinema". BearManor Media – via Google Books.
- Yvette Mimieux's Right for This Role Los Angeles Times 7 Oct 1974: e17.
- Meet a Renaissance glamour girl: Digging Yucatan Private 'I have always been liberated' By Nora E. Taylor. The Christian Science Monitor 1 June 1972: 10.
- Tempo/TV-Radio: Hang on there, Clint Eastwood! Norma Lee Browning. Chicago Tribune 18 Sep 1974: c13.
- Yvette as Gunperson in 'Hit Lady' on ABC Smith, Cecil. Los Angeles Times 08 Oct 1974: e12.
- YVETTE'S 'HIT LADY' TO STRIKE AGAIN Los Angeles Times 15 June 1975: o5.