Cosmo Vitelli owns the Crazy Horse West, a strip joint in Los Angeles. He's laconic, vet, and a gambler. When we meet him, he's making his last payment on a gambling debt, after which, he promptly loses $23,000 playing poker. The guys he owes this time aren't so friendly, pressuring him for immediate payment. When he's not able to do so, they suggest he kill a Chinese bookie to wipe away his 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
David Bowie was often present on set during the filming and can be seen in shots of the crowd at Cosmo's Crazy Horse West. See more »
Flo says "That jerk Karl Marx said opium is the religion of the people." The actual Marx quote is "Religion is the opiate of the masses." See more »
That jerk Karl Marx said opium was the... religion of people. I got news for him, it's money.
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The original 1976 release features extended time in the bar with Cosmo while he is celebrating having just paid off his loan shark, early in the film. This scene includes his driver Eddie coming in to convince Cosmo to leave, and the two of them discuss growing up in New York. See more »
Like other (usually US) films The Murder... is disturbing and mesmerizing. The dirty quality of images (in some moments bewilderingly amateurish, ins others incredibly sophisticated), the acting, the disjointed plot, the weirdness of some scenes (like the one in the car parking), Gazzara's sublime acting, the wonderful choice of places and times... it all gives you an impression of the States like they really are, not the sanitized image you find in so many Holy-Wood flicks (not all of them, I admit, but about 85%...). Such a movie is like The Searchers or Taxi Driver or Raging Bull, unfathomable and greater than life, but in some way disturbingly like life. And the character of Cosmo Vitelli is one of those enigmatic figures that leaves you wondering whether you have been shown the story of an idiot or the story of a saint. Unforgettable.
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