The Mechanic was released in 1972 and was an American action thriller film directed by Michael Winner. The film starred starred Charles Bronson and Jan-Michael Vincent.The film is noted for its opening. There is no dialogue for the first 16 minutes of the film, as the hit man played by Bronson prepares to kill his current target.
As part of this training program, Bishop teaches Steve that "every person has a weakness, and that once this weakness is found, the target is easy to kill." But Bishop fails to get his superiors' consent for the arrangement. Following a messy contract assassination mission conducted by Bishop and Steve, the organization Bishop works with warns him that his irresponsible choice to involve Steve was without permission, and that such selfish behavior cannot be tolerated "because the organization relies on 'democratic principles' that put the survival of the group above personal ambitions". The Organization then gives Bishop an urgent assassination mission, this time in Italy. Once again, Bishop involves Steve in the new assassination plan, but just before they leave the United States, Bishop accidentally notices that among the belongings of Steve, is a file containing a lot of information about him. This file is very similar to the files Bishop used to prepare about his victims he was told to assassinate. Bishop realizes that his apprentice Steve is turning against him, but he pretends to ignore this, and he starts his own investigation about Steve's background, preparing his own file about Steve without telling him. Nevertheless, Bishop allows Steve go to Italy with him to conduct the assassination assigned by the organization.
In Italy, Bishop and Steve approach a boat where their intended victim is located, but it becomes apparent that this was a trap prepared by the organization and that they are the real target. Bishop and Steve are ambushed by the assassins of the organization, but after violent events they manage to kill all their opponents, leaving no witnesses, and they return to the hotel in Naples, preparing their suitcases to go back to the United States.
His apprenticeship apparently complete, Steve shares a celebratory bottle of wine with Bishop, having coated the latter's glass with brucine, a colorless and deadly alkaloid. When Bishop realizes that he has been poisoned and that he is becoming paralyzed, he asks Steve if it was because Bishop had killed Steve's father. Steve responds that he had not realized his father was murdered, instead believing that he had simply died of the heart attack. Steve is full of himself, and taunts Bishop, saying "you told me that everyone has a jelly spot--yours was that you couldn't cut it alone." Steve goes on to reveal that he wasn't acting on orders to kill Bishop, stating that he is going to continue picking his own targets, with the suggestion that killing Bishop was an something akin to an artistic choice on Steve's part that establishes him (at least in his own mind) as superior and a more refined killer even than Bishop, who needed the "license" provided by the secret organization he worked for.