Killing Of A Chinese Bookie

( 5 )

Overview

John Cassavetes takes a contemporary film noir turn which he would return to in Gloria after exploring domestic melodrama in A Woman Under the Influence with The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. Ben Gazzara plays Cosmo Vitelli, the owner of a sleazy Los Angeles strip joint, who loses $20,000 at a mob gambling club owned by a small time gangster Seymour Cassel. Since Cosmo doesn't have the $20,000, he is forced to murder a Chinese bookie in order to clear his debt to the mob. What Cosmo doesn't know is he's part of a ...
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Overview

John Cassavetes takes a contemporary film noir turn which he would return to in Gloria after exploring domestic melodrama in A Woman Under the Influence with The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. Ben Gazzara plays Cosmo Vitelli, the owner of a sleazy Los Angeles strip joint, who loses $20,000 at a mob gambling club owned by a small time gangster Seymour Cassel. Since Cosmo doesn't have the $20,000, he is forced to murder a Chinese bookie in order to clear his debt to the mob. What Cosmo doesn't know is he's part of a set-up. The bookie is actually a West Coast mob boss protected around the clock by bodyguards. The mobsters figure that Cosmo will be killed in an impossible hit and they can take over his nightclub. But Cosmo proves luckier than the mobsters think -- he manages to kill his target, and now the mobsters have to track down Cosmo and kill him. Initially, at 133 minutes, the movie was subsequently re-edited by Cassavetes to 109 minutes.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
John Cassavetes's elliptical mid-1970s picture walks a fine line between self-indulgent and inventive. Fascinating in its originality, the film is somewhat undercut by an unsteady blend of naturalism and artifice. Originally developed with Martin Scorsese, the movie is ostensibly a gangster film, but the genre is bent into a demented character study. Cassavetes regular Ben Gazzara delivers an absorbing performance as the man forced into a moral quandary and barely aware of it. The movie was originally released in 1976 at 135 minutes, but it was re-edited in 1978 to 109 minutes.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/19/1999
  • UPC: 013131074338
  • Original Release: 1976
  • Rating:

  • Source: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Presentation: Collectors Edition / Wide Screen
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ben Gazzara Cosmo Vitelli
Timothy Carey Flo
Azizi Johari Rachel
Meade Roberts Mr. Sophistication
Seymour Cassel Mort Weil
Alice Friedland Sherry
Donna Gordon Margo
Robert Phillips Phil
Morgan Woodward John the Boss
Virginia Carrington Betty the Mother
John Kullers Eddie "Red" (Gangster)
Al Ruban Marty Reitz
Soto Joe Hugh Chinese Bookie
Jean-Pierre Cassel
Elizabeth Deering Lavinia
John Finnegan Cabbie
Haji Haji
Jason Kincaid Parking Lot Attendant
Benny Marino Sonny Venice
Frank Thomas
Kathalina Veniero Annie
Gene Darcy Commodore
Jack Ackerman Musical director
Val Avery Blair Benoit
David Rowlands Lamarr
Hugo Soto The Chinese Bookie
Vincent Barbi Vince
Technical Credits
John Cassavetes Director, Screenwriter
Tom Cornwell Editor
Frederick Elmes Cinematographer
Mike Ferris Cinematographer
Anthony Harris Score Composer
Bo Harwood Score Composer, Sound/Sound Designer
Mary Hurne Costumes/Costume Designer
Phedon Papamichael Art Director
Al Ruban Cinematographer, Producer
Bryan Ryman Production Designer
Sam Shaw Production Designer
Michael Stringer Cinematographer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

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3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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