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It was a live action film set in the US. I saw the first part of it about 25 years ago on TV. I only saw the first part and am keen to watch the whole thing. The below scenes are all from the first half and hour or so:

  • It began with a woman being told by a doctor that she did not have, I think, cancer. She is not happy.
  • Later she is sitting on a bench and is approached by a man, I think he was French or he at least had an similar accent. She is looking at the floor when he starts talking to her and she jumps and shouts "Don't kill me!". He is bemused and says that anyone who shouts that as a stranger could probably do with help.
  • It turned out that she thought she had cancer so had hired a hitman to kill herself but did not know how to track him down to stop him now she knew she was healthy.
  • The man who approached her was a police officer who offered to help her. In my memory he looks and sounds like Ricardo Montalban but I am not sure how reliable that is.
  • He tells her to always walk on the wallside of him and as soon she should always get in the back seat of the car and duck down immediately,
  • As he took her somewhere he noticed that they had seen the same blond man in two separate locations doing something innocuous, the second time he was reading a newspaper.
  • She does not believe he could be the hitman as he looks too nice, the police man is exasperated and reprimands her for being so naive.
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I thought you were going to say the policeman was the hit man! –  Liath Aug 22 '13 at 12:12
    
Ooooh - that would be a nasty twist .... and quite a short film! –  Stefan Aug 22 '13 at 12:29

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The Face of Fear (1971)

This was a made-for-TV movie from the 70s, based on the book 'Sally' by Howard Fast (writing under the pseudonym 'E.V. Cunningham').

Edited from this page, here's a synopsis:

Sally Dillman [played by Elizabeth Ashley] is an Idaho school teacher who thinks she's dying of leukemia. She goes to San Fransisco for a last fling and gives $5,000 to a man in the underworld to hire a gunman to hasten her death. When she learns she is in perfect health, she tries to find the gunman and cancel her death-contract.

Ricardo Montalban and Jack Warden play police detectives Sgt. Frank Ortega and Lt. Coye who help Sally in her dilemma. They know that a gunman is tracking her every move – even after it is apparent that he doesn't have to fulfill his contract.

I couldn't find any video clips to help you out. You can browse through some photos in the link posted above. Just in case you missed it here it is again.

There's also this page featuring some of the cast members. Keep in mind, they don't look anything like that in the movie :-)

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Fantastic! I had given up hope of this!!! Thanks :-) –  Stefan Mar 24 at 9:16

I think this was an episode of Starsky and Hutch - Cover Girl

A gorgeous but terminally ill model puts a hit out on herself, but when her cancer goes into remission, she asks Hutch to stop the contract killer.

I found this by searching IMDB for the keyword Suicide By Hitman.

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Thanks, that is good but it's not right. This was not a Starsky and Hutch episode although I would now like to watch that too! –  Stefan Aug 22 '13 at 15:35
    
@Stefan Yet this sounds like a terrifically close match. If you're really sure it wasn't this Starsky and Hutch episode, it may still be worth to look what other works inspired this episode or were inspired by it. –  Napoleon Wilson Aug 22 '13 at 16:00
    
I agree that it sounds too close to be unrelated. The only reason I am sure it is not is because I can remember the police officer and it was not one of them. I had a read through the info about the episode but could not find any spring boards for further research. No harm in checking again though! –  Stefan Aug 23 '13 at 15:36

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