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The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  8 October 1977 (Sweden)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 6,922 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 56 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.

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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 ...
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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:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the picture's original 135 minute cut from its 1976 first release, show-business trade paper 'Variety' reported that "there's no cinematography credit" for a director of photography. See more »

Quotes

Cosmo Vitelli: Now, teddy. Teddy. Everything takes work. We'll straighten it out. You know. You gotta work hard to be comfortable. Yeah, a lot of people kid themselves, you know. They-they know when they were born, they know where they're goin'... they know whether they're gonna go to heaven,whether they're gonna go to hell. They think they know that. They kid themselves. Right? But the only people... who are, you know, happy... are the people who are comfortable. That's right. Now, you take, uh, uh, carol, ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Meurtre d'un broutemécouilles chinois (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Rainy Fields of Frost and Magic
Written by Bo Harwood
Played during the audition
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bland and Ugly Film
6 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The real world can be at times a bland and ugly place. The world of reality cinema is by nature a mirror image without embellishment. The Director's style is an in your face, life is what it is, and that is as much entertainment you are going to get, so deal with it.

So we have a bland and ugly film. Minus any attempt at gloss, except maybe on the lips of the strip-club girls, that the anti hero so respects and loves.

This film tries so hard to be Avant Garde that it is painful and embarrassing. The shaky camera, it must be said, is a precursor of things to come with the advent of video, although this is probably an unintentional insight, and only a way of stating, life has no tripods.

But the unfinished scenes, the over extended scenes, the off camera action and results of action, the pans that end up nowhere, and the mumbled dialog are too pretentious and do the opposite of the "reality" the Director had in mind. In fact, it only clearly demonstrate that a movie is being made and by a filmmaker that looks like he has yet to enter the first semester of film school.

This movie is self-indulgent to the point of narcissism yet it means to be free spirited with an ever penetrating, soul searching gaze outward, irritating when it means to be comforting, and an exercise in the most deceitful of behavior, using the entertainment business, not to entertain but to offend our sensibilities, not with art, but with artlessness.

We are like the saps that paid money for the most not sexy, strip club shows ever. It's a calculated rip-off, it is not clever it is a semi-talented movie makers masquerade.


4 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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