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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Nick Kegan
...
Pa Kegan
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John Cerruti
...
Joe Diamond
...
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
...
Keith
...
Keifitz
...
Miles Garner
...
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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Kegans are an American dynasty. They own oil...banks...beautiful women...even presidents. They have the power to make fortunes and destroy careers. One man will inherit it all. If he lives. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 May 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Traficantes de poder  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director William Richert, the rain was pouring just before and immediately after the crew shot the tank chase scenes. 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: I'm so glad you're here! I receive so few outsiders. Who to trust? Who to trust? All of the nerves, but none of the flesh.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Can't Make Up Its Mind
10 February 2017 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Lamentably uneven film roughly paralleling the Kennedy killing. By the finish, it's hard to tell if the intent is to parody an assassination conspiracy or to offer up food for thought. Of course, the two can be combined, but if so, the results here are sloppy, more head-scratching than suggestive. Much time is spent with Nick (Bridges) chasing shadows, that amount to conspiracies behind conspiracies.

Okay, shadows can make for fascinating progression, not knowing who's involved and who isn't. This sense of dislocation was probably best conveyed in 1974's chilling The Parallax View. But here, such suggestive moments are undercut by exaggerations, such as the incredible shooting of the three men in the car, or the ragged development of who Yvette actually is. To me, the only explanation for the frequent piling on of events is that someone was reaching for an element of parody, despite the seemingly dead serious parts.

Now I can well understand why the production here wanted to raise questions about the Lone Assassin official theory. It certainly hasn't withstood the test of time, as even a few key frames of the Zapruder film show. Moreover, 1978's House Committee on Assassinations found upon reviewing the evidence that Kennedy "was probably assassinated as the result of a conspiracy". But then the whole matter was dropped without follow-up. Ironically, I can also understand why officials don't want to pursue the matter. After all, who knows where it might lead or what crises an honest investigation might produce.

Anyway, Bridges turns in a riveting and energetic turn as the beleaguered president's brother. If spoof was the movie's intent, Bridges should have been informed since he plays it absolutely straight throughout. Also, veteran director and actor Huston towers as the shady and mysterious patriarch of the clan. Note too, how many veteran Hollywood names settle for brief appearances in an independent production, even super-star Elizabeth Taylor. Perhaps they too were unhappy with the Warren Commission Report and wanted to help boost critics who were gathering steam at that time. Of course, the movie debunkings would culminate in 1991's JFK.

Though this 90-minutes has its moments, entertaining and suggestive, it's too uneven and inconsistent to really register as either parody or expose.


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