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The Killer Elite (1975)

PG  |   |  Action, Crime, Thriller  |  19 December 1975 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 3,683 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 38 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
...
Arthur Hill ...
Cap Collis
...
Jerome Miller
...
Yuen Chung
...
Mac
...
Lawrence Weyburn
Tom Clancy ...
O'Leary
...
Tommie (as Tiana)
Walter Kelley ...
Walter
Kate Heflin ...
Amy
Sondra Blake ...
Josephine
Carole Mallory ...
Rita
James Wing Woo ...
Tao Yi
George Cheung ...
Bruce (as George Kee Cheung)
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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 | spy | revenge | partner | security | See All (266) »

Taglines:

The C.I.A. protects America ... who protects America from the C.I.A. ! 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:

(DeLuxe)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The final sequence was filmed aboard a "Victory" cargo ship that actually served in both World War II and Vietnam War and also onboard the Mothball Fleet in Suisun Bay. See more »

Goofs

Weyburn tells Lochen to sail to the mothball fleet located in (phonetically) "SOO-SEE-OON" Bay. It is actually pronounced "SOO-SOON" Bay. See more »

Quotes

Tommie: Shoot him!
Mike Locken: He happens to have a gun at your head.
Tommie: You wouldn't shoot an 18 year old girl. Would you?
George Hansen: (gleefully) You bet I would. You bet I would.
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
(1928) (uncredited)
Lyrics by L. Wolfe Gilbert
Music by Mabel Wayne
Sung by James Caan and Robert Duvall
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A surprising gem.
1 October 2005 | by See all my reviews

No one mentions Killer Elite when they talk about Peckinpah...maybe they should. When you think Peckinpah you think The Wild Bunch and Straw Dogs because that's all that anyone thinks is relevant about his career. A career that is fabled to have collapsed under the pressures of his excessive lifestyle and personality. It is for this reason I was surprised to find this movie in the local video store the other day.

This film shows a fantastic amount of maturity about its characters as displayed through the patience with which Peckinpah walks us through the Duvall and Caan's relationship (take for instance the scene with them crossing the Golden Gate bridge...its seldom that a director takes this amount of time with dialogue that is so trivial but subtext that is so important in an indexical sort of way) and Caan's lengthy rehabilitation. The meatiest parts of this films emotional resonance is dealt with in the first act before a majority of the action.

The real strength of the film is that it allows an insight not just into Duvall and Caan but the other mercenaries who are all, in one way or another, fractured people. Though I have to admit that this particular aspect of the film could have been emphasized more I think it is something that is, unfortunately, being overlooked by some of the other people who commented on this film.

Another user drew a parallel between this film and the honor among thieves them at the heart of the Wild Bunch. There is a similarity between the two but to say that Peckinpah is making the same statement in both films is a bit myopic. James Caan's character is not William Holden's character. I can't help but feel though, that either more screen time or a solid R rating would have more clearly delineated the difference.

One last word about this film. I have always been a giant fan of Peckinpah's editing. Wild Bunch was an orgy of (true) montage editing that would have made Eisenstien blush and Straw Dogs would be less of a movie were it not for the free associative cuts into the characters mind that can only been found in the days when American Cinema was busy dry humping the New Wave (i.e. Francis Ford Coppola's the Rain People). In Killer Elite Peckinpah is DW Griffith inspired crosscutting as Sergio Leone is to the ringing phone.


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