The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  8 October 1977 (Sweden)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 7,096 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 57 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 overview, first billed only:
Flo (as Timothy Agoglia Carey)
Mort Weil
Robert Phillips ...
The Boss
John Kullers ...
The Accountant (as John Red Kullers)
Al Ruban ...
Marty Reitz
Azizi Johari ...
Virginia Carrington ...
Meade Roberts ...
Alice Friedland ...
Margo Donnar (as Donna Marie Gordon)
Haji ...
Carol Warren ...
Derna Wong Davis ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

8 October 1977 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Mordet på en kinesisk bookmaker  »

Box Office


SEK 1,298,042 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1978 Re-Release)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was actually a story idea developed by John Cassavetes and Martin Scorsese years previously. See more »


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 »


Referenced in Californication: Vaginatown (2008) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Interesting characters, but SOOOOOOO SLOOOOOOOOW
22 February 2000 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

I'm a patient man, but this bored me. The characters -- and especially our protagonist -- just wasn't compelling enough to capture my attention for all the long, long scenes that inched out the plot. Still, an interesting look inside the lives of a strip club owner and his girls. Has similar feel to Boogie Nights, but without the energy.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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