Winter Kills

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Overview

Based on a novel by the iconoclastic Richard Condon of Manchurian Candidate and Prizzi's Honor fame, Winter Kills was one of the vanguard efforts in the "JFK conspiracy" school of literature. Jeff Bridges stars as Nick Kegan, the scion of a powerful Kennedyesque family, who has done his best to make himself obscure after the assassination of his older brother, the former president of the U.S. While working as an oil rigger, Nick is introduced to a terminally ill gentleman who claims to have been "the second ...
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Overview

Based on a novel by the iconoclastic Richard Condon of Manchurian Candidate and Prizzi's Honor fame, Winter Kills was one of the vanguard efforts in the "JFK conspiracy" school of literature. Jeff Bridges stars as Nick Kegan, the scion of a powerful Kennedyesque family, who has done his best to make himself obscure after the assassination of his older brother, the former president of the U.S. While working as an oil rigger, Nick is introduced to a terminally ill gentleman who claims to have been "the second assassin." His curiosity aroused, Nick begins digging into what was supposed to be a closed case -- and, predictably, what he finds out isn't pretty. This, however, is the only predictable element of this mesmerizingly mazelike yarn. A failure when first released, Winter Kills fared somewhat better when director William Richert arranged to rerelease the film through his own company and restore several scenes that had been cut by its previous backers. Elizabeth Taylor appears uncredited as one "Lola Comante."
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Special Features

Audio commentary with writer/director William Richert
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This satirical cult favorite might seem a bit demanding at its outset due to its labyrinthine twists and turns but is well worth sticking with because it lives up to the promise of its darkly funny premise. Like The Manchurian Candidate, Winter Kills mixes horrific conspiracy theorizing with black humor to create a surreal blend of deadpan wit and skin-crawling menace. Such a tone is difficult to maintain, but William Richert manages to pull it off by giving the film a sedate, straight-faced stylishness that allows the plot's outrageous machinations to speak for themselves. Solid technical credits help Richert flesh out this approach, especially Vilmos Zsigmond's stylish lensing and a richly textured but always subtle score from Maurice Jarre. More importantly, the carefully modulated performances of the cast bring the story to life in a vivid fashion: Jeff Bridges maintains a low-key style throughout which keeps the material grounded while John Huston steals every scene he is in as his randy, thoroughly corrupt father, and everyone from Sterling Hayden to Anthony Perkins contributes memorable cameos as a rogue's gallery of suspects. In the end, Winter Kills might be a little too off-kilter and challenging for some viewers, but its intelligence and style make it a must for any fan of cult movies.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/27/2007
  • UPC: 013131549898
  • Original Release: 1979
  • Rating:

  • Source: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Cinemascope (2.35:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:37:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jeff Bridges Nick Kegan
John Huston Pa Kegan
Anthony Perkins John Ceruti
Sterling Hayden Z.K. Dawson
Eli Wallach Joe Diamond
Dorothy Malone Emma Kegan
Richard Boone Keifitz
Belinda Bauer Yvette Malone
Ralph Meeker Gameboy Baker
Toshiro Mifune Keith
Elizabeth Taylor Lola Comante (uncredited)
Joe Spinell Arthur Fletcher
Tomas Milian Frank Mayo
Gladys Hill Rosemary
Lissette Cuban Singer
Donald Moffat Captain
Joe Ragno Doorman
Tim Culbertson Security Guard
David Spielberg Miles Garner
Brad Dexter Capt. Heller One
Irving Selbst Irving Mentor
Billie Allen Receptionist
Berry Berenson Morgue Attendant
Michael Bond Flight Engineer
Robert F. Boyle Desk Clerk
Peter Brandon Doctor
Loyd Catlett Z.K. Dawson Guard
Agneta Eckemyr Nurse One
Tisa Farrow Nurse Two
Loutz Gage Butler
Erin Gray Beautiful Woman Three
Rebecca Grimes Beautiful Woman Four
Eloise Hardt Secretary Two
Amanda Jones Beautiful Woman Seven
Peter Kilman Pilot
Kyle Morris John Kullens
Candice Rialson 2nd Blonde Girl
Gianni Russo Co-Pilot
Chris Soldo Jeffreys
Camilla Sparv Beautiful Woman One
Susan Walden Beautiful Woman Three
Technical Credits
William Richert Director, Screenwriter
Del Acevedo Makeup
Robert F. Boyle Production Designer
David Bretherton Editor
Robert de Mora Costumes/Costume Designer
Leonard J. Goldberg Executive Producer
Maurice Jarre Score Composer
Augie Lohman Special Effects
Norman Newberry Art Director
Chris Newman Sound/Sound Designer
Arthur Jeph Parker Set Decoration/Design
Peter R. Scoppa Asst. Director
John H. Starke Associate Producer
Robert Sterling Executive Producer
Vilmos Zsigmond Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Winter Kills
1. Main Titles [2:30]
2. Killer's Confession [6:42]
3. The Rifle [7:09]
4. Pa [8:50]
5. Time For Action [3:21]
6. The Family [4:19]
7. Patriot Games [7:35]
8. The Conspirators [6:18]
9. Come and Get Me [5:18]
10. The Hunter Hunted [7:03]
11. Where There's Smoke [2:45]
12. Meeting With the Mob [4:28]
13. Dead Ends [4:35]
14. Vanished [1:43]
15. Back From the Grave [3:26]
16. John Cerruti [10:04]
17. Father and Son [7:53]
18. End Titles [2:31]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Winter Kills
   Chapter Selections
   Commentary
      Commentary With Writer/Director William Richert - On
      Commentary With Writer/Director William Richert - Off
   Play
Disc #2 -- Winter Kills
   Featurettes
      Who Killed Winter Kills? (38 mins.)
      Reunion (9 mins.)
      Star Stories (8 mins.)
   Trailer
   Still Galleries
      Production Stills
      Behind-the-Scenes
      Deleted Scenes
      Posters & Advertising
      Original Production Art
   Original Screenplay
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2013

    A rare movie with a rare history, was pulled out of the theaters

    A rare movie with a rare history, was pulled out of the theaters the second day it played. Check Jeff Bridges interview on youtube titled "Who killed winter kills"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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