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The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) Poster

Trivia

Ben Gazzara was unhappy with the role initially, unable to find a way to connect to Cosmo Vitelli. That changed when shooting a scene, Cassavetes spoke to Gazzara about the gangsters in the film as a metaphor for the people who are constantly trying to steal or ruin people's dreams. Cassavetes started to cry and Gazzara saw that playing Cosmo was representing John Cassavetes and the movie was a metaphor for the director's struggles for his own dreams.
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This was actually a story idea developed by John Cassavetes and Martin Scorsese years previously.
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The original 1976 theatrical version ran for 135 minutes. About two years after the first release, director John Cassavetes in 1978 edited a new different cut with a running time of 108 minutes, it being twenty-seven minutes shorter.
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Lead actor Ben Gazzara has said that he hated the film's original 135 minute cut as it was too long.
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The American Criterion Collection DVD release features the first release of the original 135 minute version of the film since its original theatrical distribution in 1976.
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The shorter 108 minute John Cassavetes 1978, referred to on the DVD as the Director's Cut, has scenes in it not in the 1976 original 135 minute cut. The scenes in the later version also have different edits and different orders.
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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.
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This is one of few John Cassavetes directed movies that does not feature his real life wife actress Gena Rowlands.
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The name of the Californian strip-joint nightclub in Los Angeles was "The Crazy Horse West".
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The eighth feature film directed by John Cassavetes.
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Second of three collaborations of actor Ben Gazzara and writer-director John Cassavetes, the others being Husbands (1970) and _Opening Night (1977)_ (qv,) both of which Cassavetes also acted in, not doing so only in The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976). The pair also both appeared in a non-Cassavetes written and directed movie, If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969).
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Haji portrayed a character, Haji, who had the same name as her own, as she had previously done in Bigfoot (1970).
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The amount of money that Cosmo Vitelli (Ben Gazzara) lost in gambling debts was US $23,000.
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