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The Killing of a Chinese Bookie ()


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A proud strip club owner is forced to come to terms with himself as a man, when his gambling addiction gets him in hot water with the mob, who offer him only one alternative.

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Cosmo Vittelli
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Flo (as Timothy Agoglia Carey)
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Mort Weil
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Phil
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The Boss
John Kullers ...
The Accountant (as John Red Kullers)
Al Ruban ...
Marty Reitz
Azizi Johari ...
Rachel
Virginia Carrington ...
Mama
Meade Roberts ...
Mr. Sophistication
Alice Friedland ...
Sherry
Donna Gordon ...
Margo Donnar (as Donna Marie Gordon)
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Haji
Carol Warren ...
Carol
Derna Wong Davis ...
Derna
Kathalina Veniero ...
Annie
Yvette Morris ...
Yvette
Jack Ackerman ...
Musical Director
David Rowlands ...
Lamarr
Trisha Pelham ...
Waitress
Eddie Shaw ...
Taxi Driver (as Eddie Ike Shaw)
Sonny Aprile ...
Sonny (as Salvatore Aprile)
Gene Darcy ...
Commodore
Ben Marino ...
Bartender (as Benny Marino)
Arlene Allison ...
Waitress
Vincent Barbi ...
Vince (as Vince Barbi)
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Blair Benoit
Elizabeth Deering ...
Lavinia
Soto Joe Hugh ...
Chinese Bookie (as Soto Joe Hugh)
Catherine Wong ...
The Bookie's Girl
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Taxi Driver
Miles Ciletti ...
Mickey
Mike Skloot ...
Scooper
Frank Buchanan ...
Flo's Friend
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Parking Lot Attendant
Frank Thomas ...
Poker Player
Jack Krupnick ...
Poker Player
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Hood (uncredited)
Harry Governick ...
Man at Bar (uncredited)
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Asian guard (uncredited)
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Bartender (uncredited)
Derna Wylde ...
Dancer (uncredited)

Directed by

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John Cassavetes

Written by

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John Cassavetes ... ()

Produced by

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Phil Burton ... associate producer
Al Ruban ... producer

Music by

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Bo Harwood

Cinematography by

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Mitch Breit ... (as Mitchell Breit)
Al Ruban

Film Editing by

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Tom Cornwell

Editorial Department

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Robert Heffernan ... in charge of post production
Craig Holt ... apprentice editor
Neal Meisenheimer ... assistant editor
Terri Messina ... assistant editor
Fran Morgenstern ... assistant editor
Jack Woods ... post-production consultant
David Armstrong ... editor (uncredited)

Production Design by

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Sam Shaw

Art Direction by

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Phedon Papamichael

Production Management

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Art Levinson ... production manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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Nathan Haggard ... second assistant director (as Nate Haggard)

Art Department

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Verna Bagby ... set constructor
Miles Ciletti ... props
Bruce Hartman ... set constructor
Bryan Ryman ... assistant art director
Richard Upper ... titles and graphics
Robert Vehon ... set constructor

Sound Department

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Bo Harwood ... sound
Robert Knudson ... sound mixer (as Buzz Knudson)

Stunts

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Craig R. Baxley ... stunts
Paul Baxley ... stunt coordinator

Camera and Electrical Department

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Mitch Breit ... in charge of lighting (as Mitchell Breit)
Catherine E. Coulson ... camera assistant (as Catherine Coulson)
Frederick Elmes ... camera operator (as Fred Elmes)
Michael Ferris ... camera operator
Rob Hahn ... camera assistant (as Robert Hahn)
M. Todd Henry ... camera assistant
Bruce Knee ... lighting crew
Don Robinson ... lighting crew (as Donald Robinson)
R. Michael Stringer ... camera assistant (as Mike Stringer)
Chris Taylor ... lighting crew
Richard Upper ... still photographer

Costume and Wardrobe Department

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Mary Herne ... wardrobe

Location Management

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David Armstrong ... location manager (uncredited)

Music Department

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Anthony Harris ... conductor / music arranger
Jack Sheldon ... musician: trumpet (uncredited)

Other crew

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Steve Brooks ... operator: Cinemobile
Lanie Heffernan ... secretary to director
Sandy King ... script supervisor (as Sandra King)
Connie McFeeley ... accountant
Teresa Stokovic ... production secretary

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

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

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Genres
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Certification

Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • Meurtre d'un bookmaker chinois (France)
  • Le bal des vauriens (France)
  • Mord an einem chinesischen Buchmacher (Germany)
  • El asesinato de un corredor de apuestas chino (Spain)
  • L'assassinat del corredor d'apostes xinès (Spain, Catalan title)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 135 min
Country
Language
Color
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix

Did You Know?

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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. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in If We Owned a Movie Theater - Overlooked Films: The Conversation, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, Real Life, The Green Wall, And Now My Love, Happy New Year (1980). See more »
Soundtracks I Can't Give You Anything but Love See more »
Quotes Cosmo Vitelli: Now, teddy. Teddy. Everything takes work. We'll straighten it out. You know. You gotta work hard to be comfortable. Yeah, a lot of people kid themselves, you know. They-they know when they were born, they know where they're goin'... they know whether they're gonna go to heaven,whether they're gonna go to hell. They think they know that. They kid themselves. Right? But the only people... who are, you know, happy... are the people who are comfortable. That's right. Now, you take, uh, uh, carol, right? A dingbat, right? A ding-a-ling.A dingo. That's what people think she is,'cause that's the truth they want to believe. But, uh, you put her in another situation, right? Put her in a situation that's tough. Stress. Where she's up against something,you'll see she's no fool. Right. 'cause what's your truth... is my falsehood What's my falsehood is your truth and vice versa. Well, look. Look at me, right? I'm only happy when I'm angry... when I'm sad, when i can play the fool... when i can be what people want me to be rather than be myself.
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