6.3/10
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39 user 31 critic

Winter Kills (1979)

The Pickering Commission concluded that a lone gunman killed US President Kegan in 1960, in Philadelphia. 19 years later a dying man confesses to be the real shooter hired to kill him. Kegan's brother and filthy rich father investigate.

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(book), (written for the screen)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Nick Kegan
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Pa Kegan
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John Cerruti
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Joe Diamond
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Z.K. Dawson
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Emma Kegan
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Frank Mayo
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Yvette Malone
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Gameboy Baker
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Keith
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Keifitz
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Miles Garner
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Captain Heller One
Michael Thoma ...
Ray Doty
Ed Madsen ...
Captain Heller Two

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Storyline

19 years after President Timothy Keegan was assassinated, his brother Nick discovers a dying man claiming to have been the gunman. While trying to avoid his wealthy and domineering father's attempts to control his actions, Nick follows the clues that have been handed to him. As he progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to discern the real trails from the dead ends, and increasing dangerous as unknown parties try to stop Nick from uncovering the truth. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

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From the author of THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

11 May 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Traficantes de poder  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)
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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Joe Diamond (played by Eli Wallach) was a fictional personage of hit-man Jack Ruby. See more »

Goofs

When Yvette refuses Nick's marriage proposal, she puts her right hand on his face. When the angle changes she suddenly has both hands on his face. See more »

Quotes

John Cerruti: Your father spent eleven million dollars to raise your brother up from a skirt-chasing college-boy to President of the United States. For twenty years he told him what to do and how and why he was gonna do it and what would happen when it was done. Your father put Tim in the White House - why? Because that's where you can generate the most cash; a cold-ass business proposition, like everything else in this society. But your brother decided to stir up the population. Began to think we were all ...
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Connections

Featured in Who Killed 'Winter Kills'? (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very underrated
29 June 2005 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

"Winter Kills" is based on a novel by Richard Condon ("The Manchurian Candidate") about a man who confesses to having killed the President on his death bed. The President's brother (Jeff Bridges) witnesses the confession and stumbles upon a conspiracy plot involving more murder and silencing.

This movie somehow slipped under the radar years ago. Whereas "Manchurian Candidate" got the attention it rightfully deserved, "Winter Kills" was killed by its controversy and production faults.

It was allegedly filmed in 1975 and only released in 1979, although I can't find any evidence to back this up. What I do know is that it was given an X rating in the UK, and when a movie in the UK gets an X rating, you know something's wrong.

I'm not sure why it received such a harsh rating but evidently that had something to do with its box office failure. I suppose its themes (clear allusion to the JFK assassination) were too heavy - not to mention the violence was rather explicit.

Seen today, this movie is an underrated gem. John Huston delivers a great performance as Bridges' father, while Bridges is equally great. The music in the film is eerie and tense - without it, I doubt the film would be quite as good as it is.

It was directed by William Richert (who played the gay Bob Pigeon in "My Own Private Idaho") and he does a fine job. The movie builds its suspense well; the only segment I didn't like too much was when Bridges goes to visit his father for the first time. I felt it went on too long and was out of place.

Other than that, this is a very good film and a sadly underrated conspiracy theory movie that never got its chance to make a mark.


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