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The Killer Elite (1975)

Mike Locke, who works for a private security firm affiliated with the C.I.A., is betrayed by his partner and left apparently crippled for life.

Director:

Sam Peckinpah

Writers:

Marc Norman (screenplay), Stirling Silliphant (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Caan ... Mike Locken
Robert Duvall ... George Hansen
Arthur Hill ... Cap Collis
Bo Hopkins ... Jerome Miller
Mako ... Yuen Chung
Burt Young ... Mac
Gig Young ... Lawrence Weyburn
Tom Clancy Tom Clancy ... O'Leary
Tiana Alexandra ... Tommie (as Tiana)
Walter Kelley Walter Kelley ... Walter
Kate Heflin Kate Heflin ... Amy
Sondra Blake ... Josephine
Carole Mallory ... Rita
James Wing Woo James Wing Woo ... Tao Yi
George Cheung ... Bruce (as George Kee Cheung)
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Storyline

Mike Locken is one of the principal members of a group of freelance spies. A significant portion of their work is for the C.I.A. and while on a case for them, one of his friends turns on him and shoots him in the elbow and knee. His assignment, to protect someone, goes down in flames. He is nearly crippled, but with braces is able to again become mobile. For revenge as much as anything else, Mike goes after his ex-friend. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

MEN WANTED. Private company with C.I.A. contract seeks men willing to risk life. Perfect physical condition. Experience with weaponry, incendiaries, Karate/Judo. No loyalties. No dependents. Long career doubtful. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

19 December 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Assassinos de Elite See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,000,000, 31 December 1975
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The graphic violence in the original cut of the film was cut by Sam Peckinpah so he could obtain a PG rating for the film, instead of an R. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning as they are driving to the safe house the are driving westbound on the Richmond-San Rafael Bay Bridge. Then they jump to shots of them driving eastbound, and then finally to them exiting the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge. See more »

Quotes

Yuen Chung: Every country, if hopes to become a democracy, needs at least one voice raised in opposition. I happen to be selected. Let just one other person hear my voice. That is a beginning! It's enough.
Mike Locken: Ha, I'll give you this: all the other sheep I've kept have always been running away from their countries. You're the first one that I've met that's jumping back into the frying pan.
Mac: That's what I was telling you before. You're risking your life, keeping him alive, and getting him back someplace where ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film is a work of fiction. There is no company called Communications Integrity NOR ComTeg and the thought the C.I.A. might employ such an organization for any purpose is, of course, preposterous. See more »

Alternate Versions

Swedish cinema version was pre-cut from 3365 m to 3110 m by the distributor (however no violent scenes was omitted). Then the Swedish censors cut the movie from 3110 m (114 min) to 3040m (111min). Some shootings and a karate fight were cut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dinner for Five: Episode #2.10 (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Ramona
(1928) (uncredited)
Lyrics by L. Wolfe Gilbert
Music by Mabel Wayne
Sung by James Caan and Robert Duvall
See more »

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User Reviews

Unsuccessful Peckinpah revenge thriller. Overlong and uneven but still interesting.
2 June 2002 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

I have been trying to find 'The Killer Elite' for quite some time. Directed by the legendary Sam Peckinpah in between two of his best and most underrated movies ('Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia' and 'Cross Of Iron'), and re-teaming James Caan and Robert Duvall, co-stars of 'The Godfather', I was sure that this was going to be one of those great lost 70s gems like 'Rolling Thunder' or 'The Yakuza'. Sadly, it isn't. Now I know Peckinpah often suffered studio interference and rarely got to get a movie on screen with his vision uncompromised, so I can only assume this is the case here. Caan, who is always watchable no matter what he is in, plays a CIA operative who is betrayed by his partner, Duvall (who only has a small supporting role to be honest). Wounded and written off by his bosses, he is manipulated into guarding an Asian politician (Mako, best known for the 'Conan' films) who Duvall is trying to assassinate. Caan and his hand-picked team (Peckinpah regular Bo Hopkins, and Burt Young of 'Rocky' fame) carry out there task in good faith until it becomes increasingly obvious that they are being used. Peckinpah deals with his frequent themes of loyalty and honour, and there is some characteristic bloody action sequences, but frankly the script leaves a lot to be desired, the plot sometimes wanders off track, and some golden opportunities are missed. 'The Killer Elite' reeks of compromise and therefore fails to completely satisfy. But hey, even neutered Peckinpah is still Peckinpah, and just about everything he directed wipes the floor with most of Hollywood's current lame output, so I still say give this one a try. For all its flaws it still stars James Caan, one of the most underrated actors of his generation, and even that in itself is enough to keep me watching.


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