The assassination of the prime minister of Eritrea sets off a chain of events with global repercussions in the intelligence community. Longtime CIA operative Gerald Cross (Burt Lancaster) decides he wants out of the agency so he can spend more time with his wife. But Cross must be killed because he knows too much, so the task goes to his protégé, Scorpio (Alain Delon). The two men play a game of global cat-and-mouse filled with double crosses.

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