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The Killer Elite (1975)

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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 3,495 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 34 critic

Mike Locke, who works for a private security firm affiliated with the CIA, is betrayed by his partner and left apparently crippled for life.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mike Locken
...
George Hansen
Arthur Hill ...
Cap Collis
...
Jerome Miller
...
Yuen Chung
...
Mac
...
Lawrence Weyburn
Tom Clancy ...
O'Leary
...
Tommie (as Tiana)
Walter Kelley ...
Walter
Kate Heflin ...
Amy
...
Josephine
Carole Mallory ...
Rita
James Wing Woo ...
Tao Yi
George Cheung ...
Bruce (as George Kee Cheung)
Edit

Storyline

Mike Locken is one of the principal members of a group of freelance spies. A significant portion of their work is for the C.I.A. and while on a case for them, one of his friends turns on him and shoots him in the elbow and knee. His assignment, to protect someone, goes down in flames. He is nearly crippled, but with braces is able to again become mobile. For revenge as much as anything else, Mike goes after his ex-friend. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cia | revenge | partner | security | ninja | See All (133) »

Taglines:

They Protect Us from the Enemy. But Who Protects Us from Them? See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

19 December 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Assassinos de Elite  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Peckinpah was assigned to direct this film by Mike Medavoy, the head of United Artists at the time. Medavoy believed in Peckinpah's abilities but knew that it was virtually impossible for Peckinpah to get a job with any of the studios, as he had alienated virtually everyone in Hollywood by that time. When this project came along Medavoy knew it was perfect for Peckinpah and gave it to him, but under the conditions that he worked under Medavoy's strict supervision. Peckinpah agreed. See more »

Goofs

One of the characters is shown before, during, and after major orthopedic surgery on his elbow and knee. Following surgery, both the entire arm and entire leg are encased in close-fitting gypsum casts. The intact casts are taken off many days later. Even with today's medicine, this would be impossible: injury and surgery to those joints would cause a great amount of unavoidable swelling that would make close-fitting casts detrimental and torturous. If casts are used today, ordinarily the area around the joint is cut out to accommodate swelling. See more »

Quotes

O'Leary: [examining an ailing plant in Weyburn's office] Talking to them isn't enough. Their longevity lies within the context of your communication.
Lawrence Weyburn: Oh, I know, I know, I know. I even recite the love sonnets of Elizabeth Barrett Browning to the poor thing.
O'Leary: Hmmm. It's probably dying of boredom.
Cap Collins: Danny, how are you?
O'Leary: Did you ever consider my dear Cap how much energy you've wasted over your 47 years mustering up that good fellow smile and that insincere handshake?
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film is a work of fiction. There is no company called Communications Integrity NOR ComTeg and the thought the C.I.A. might employ such an organization for any purpose is, of course, preposterous. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Slanted Screen (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Ramona
(uncredited)
Lyrics by L. Wolfe Gilbert
Music by Mabel Wayne (1928)
Sung light-heartedly by James Caan and Robert Duvall
See more »

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User Reviews

Unsuccessful Peckinpah revenge thriller. Overlong and uneven but still interesting.
2 June 2002 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

I have been trying to find 'The Killer Elite' for quite some time. Directed by the legendary Sam Peckinpah in between two of his best and most underrated movies ('Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia' and 'Cross Of Iron'), and re-teaming James Caan and Robert Duvall, co-stars of 'The Godfather', I was sure that this was going to be one of those great lost 70s gems like 'Rolling Thunder' or 'The Yakuza'. Sadly, it isn't. Now I know Peckinpah often suffered studio interference and rarely got to get a movie on screen with his vision uncompromised, so I can only assume this is the case here. Caan, who is always watchable no matter what he is in, plays a CIA operative who is betrayed by his partner, Duvall (who only has a small supporting role to be honest). Wounded and written off by his bosses, he is manipulated into guarding an Asian politician (Mako, best known for the 'Conan' films) who Duvall is trying to assassinate. Caan and his hand-picked team (Peckinpah regular Bo Hopkins, and Burt Young of 'Rocky' fame) carry out there task in good faith until it becomes increasingly obvious that they are being used. Peckinpah deals with his frequent themes of loyalty and honour, and there is some characteristic bloody action sequences, but frankly the script leaves a lot to be desired, the plot sometimes wanders off track, and some golden opportunities are missed. 'The Killer Elite' reeks of compromise and therefore fails to completely satisfy. But hey, even neutered Peckinpah is still Peckinpah, and just about everything he directed wipes the floor with most of Hollywood's current lame output, so I still say give this one a try. For all its flaws it still stars James Caan, one of the most underrated actors of his generation, and even that in itself is enough to keep me watching.


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