MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 852 this week

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)

 -  Drama  -  8 October 1977 (Sweden)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 6,218 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 54 critic

A proud strip club owner is forced to come to terms with himself as a man, when his gambling addiction gets him in hot water with the mob, who offer him only one alternative.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 25 Jan 2011
 
a list of 37 titles
created 19 May 2011
 
a list of 22 titles
created 07 Aug 2012
 
a list of 45 titles
created 05 Feb 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 30 Apr 2013
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Killing of a Chinese Bookie.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Shadows (1959)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Cassavetes' jazz-scored improvisational film explores interracial friendships and relationships in Beat-Era (1950s) New York City.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Ben Carruthers, Lelia Goldoni, Hugh Hurd
Gloria (1980)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a young boy's family is killed by the mob, their tough neighbor Gloria becomes his reluctant guardian. In possession of a book that the gangsters want, the pair go on the run in New York.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, Buck Henry, Julie Carmen
Love Streams (1984)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Two closely bound, emotionally wounded siblings reunite after years apart.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes, Diahnne Abbott
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Ghost is an idealogical musician who would rather play his blues in the park to the birds than compromise himself. However, when he meets and falls in love with beautiful singer, Jess ... See full summary »

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Bobby Darin, Stella Stevens, Everett Chambers
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Psychologist Dr. Matthew Clark is the head of the Crawthorne State Training Institute, one of the first boarding schools for developmentally challenged children. Dr. Clark is sympathetic ... See full summary »

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Judy Garland, Gena Rowlands
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Nick is desperate, holed up in a cheap hotel, suffering from an ulcer and convinced that a local mobster wants him killed. He calls Mikey, his friend since childhood, but when Mikey arrives... See full summary »

Director: Elaine May
Stars: Peter Falk, John Cassavetes, Ned Beatty
Opening Night (1977)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An actress suffers an emotional uproar in her personal life after a fan dies trying to see her.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes, Ben Gazzara
Faces I (1968)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An old married man leaves his wife for a younger woman. Shortly after, his ex-wife also begins a relationship with a younger partner. The film follows their struggles to find love amongst each other.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: John Marley, Gena Rowlands, Lynn Carlin
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Mabel, a wife and mother, is loved by her husband Nick but her madness proves to be a problem in the marriage. The film transpires to a positive role of madness in the family, challenging conventional representations of madness in cinema.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, Fred Draper
Husbands (1970)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A common friend's sudden death brings three men, married with children, to reconsider their lives and ultimately leave together. But mindless enthusiasm for regained freedom will be ... See full summary »

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk, John Cassavetes
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An incompetent radio DJ tries to get an interview with the Swedish pop group during their famous week-long 1977 tour of Australia.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus
Certificate: GP Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A museum curator falls in love with a crazy parking attendant.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, Seymour Cassel, Val Avery
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Flo (as Timothy Agoglia Carey)
...
Mort Weil
Robert Phillips ...
Phil
...
The Boss
John Kullers ...
The Accountant (as John Red Kullers)
Al Ruban ...
Marty Reitz
Azizi Johari ...
Virginia Carrington ...
Mama
Meade Roberts ...
Alice Friedland ...
...
Margo Donnar (as Donna Marie Gordon)
Haji ...
Carol Warren ...
Derna Wong Davis ...
Edit

Storyline

Cosmo Vitelli owns the Crazy Horse West, a strip joint in California. He's laconic, a Korean War vet, and a gambler. When we meet him, he's making his last payment on a gambling debt. Then, he promptly loses $23,000 playing poker at an illegal local casino. The guys he owes this time aren't so friendly, pressuring him for immediate payment. Then they suggest that he kill a Chinese bookie to wipe off the debt. Vitelli and the film move back and forth between the double-crossing, murderous insincerity of the gamblers and the friendships, sweetness, and even love among Vitelli, the dancers, a dancer's mother, and the club's singer, Mr. Sophistication. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 October 1977 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Mordet på en kinesisk bookmaker  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 1,298,042 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1978 Re-Release)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The amount of money that Cosmo Vitelli (Ben Gazzara) lost in gambling debts was US $23,000. See more »

Quotes

Cosmo Vitelli: I'm a club owner. I deal in girls.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nothing in Los Angeles (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

I Can't Give You Anything but Love
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Performed by Meade Roberts and others
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"The most important thing in life is to be comfortable."
17 February 1999 | by (los angeles) – See all my reviews

I've shown this movie to baffled girlfriends and eye-rolling friends who've left the room after twenty minutes. The picture was essentially unreleased upon its completion in 1976, and is now available on video only because of the retrospectives of Cassavetes' work that followed his death. The movie is considered bewildering even by many Cassavetes champions, but for me it ranks among the greatest American movies. As Cosmo Vitelli, the strip-joint owner who's a clown who thinks he's a king, the sublimely reptilian Ben Gazzara leans into an offstage mike and tells the audience, "And if you have any complaints--any complaints at all--we'll throw you right out on your ass." Like Jake LaMotta, or Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant, Cosmo is a walking aria of male self-destruction. He finally pays off the shylocks he's in hock to for his place--the Crazy Horse West--and celebrates with a gambling spree that puts him right back where he started. To pay his debts, Cosmo agrees to murder a Chinese kingpin the L.A. mob has marked for death--but that only gives the barest indication of the strange, ecstatic poetry of Cassavetes' greatest and farthest-out-on-a-limb movie. The movie is a strangely crumpled form of film noir; a classic Cassavetes character portrait, with more than the usual romanticism and self-disgust; a super-subliminal essay on Vietnam and Watergate; and an example of a one-of-a-kind lyricism that's closer to 2001 than a gangster picture. With its odd rhythms, Warholish color and substance-altered performances, it's one of the rare movies for which there exists no point of comparison.


74 of 80 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Favorite version? mrthefink
Why is Cosmo's hand wet with blood at the end? jazzest
Favorite Scene? noelartm
what's the difference between the two versions? tmason9278
Which version should I watch first? MOVIEBUF-32
David Bowie? filmsnob-6
Discuss The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?