5.7/10
2,183
31 user 20 critic

The Domino Principle (1977)

A Vietnam War veteran, imprisoned for murder, is offered his freedom if he accepts to undertake a contract killing for a shady organization.

Director:

Stanley Kramer

Writers:

Adam Kennedy (novel), Adam Kennedy (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Hackman ... Tucker
Candice Bergen ... Ellie
Richard Widmark ... Tagge
Mickey Rooney ... Spiventa
Edward Albert ... Ross Pine
Eli Wallach ... General Reser
Ken Swofford ... Ditcher
Neva Patterson ... Gaddis
Jay Novello ... Captain Ruiz
Joseph V. Perry ... Bowkemp (as Joseph Perry)
Ted Gehring ... Schnaible
Claire Brennen Claire Brennen ... Ruby (as Claire Brennan)
George Fisher ... Henemyer
Bob Herron ... Brookshire
Denver Mattson ... Murdock
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Storyline

Tucker is a chronic underachiever and a loser. A Vietnam war veteran who just can't seem to keep out of trouble, in the years since his discharge. The only thing he got out of the war was his skill with a rifle. Now, serving a long stretch in prison for murder, he has hit rock-bottom. But one day a man in a three-piece suit visits him in prison, a man he has never seen before, and informs him that he can walk out of prison a free man if he will shoot someone for them, no questions asked. Written by Strelnikoff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Trust no one. No one.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For its UK release, the title was changed to " The Domino Killing" and it was shown as part of a double bill with the Charles Bronson starrer, " Love & Bullets ". See more »

Goofs

The bread truck carrying Tucker and Spiventa is shown driving across the Golden Gate Bridge in the southbound direction from Marin County to San Francisco. The very next scene, however, in which the prisoners are escorted out of the truck, clearly takes place under the roadway back on the Marin side of the bridge. See more »

Quotes

Tucker: Tell me one thing
Tagge: Go ahead
Tucker: Is it over?
Tagge: I don't know. The bigger the stink, the more there is to cover up. And the man who worries the most is the man who gave the original order. If he panics, the domino starts to fall.
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Alternate Versions

West German theatrical version was cut by approx. 17 minutes. Strangely, the East German version was uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nocturna (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

No Puedo Olvidar
Lyrics by Orlando Peres
Music by Billy Goldenberg
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User Reviews

 
THE DOMINO PRINCIPLE (Stanley Kramer, 1977) **
4 August 2007 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

Kramer, first as a producer and then a director, had been at the forefront in dealing with important social themes in Hollywood (THE DEFIANT ONES [1958], ON THE BEACH [1959], INHERIT THE WIND [1960] and JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG [1961] were his best films); by the late 60s, however, his particular brand of investigative style went out-of-date. In its place – largely in the wake of the Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations – the Kafkaesque political thriller became fashionable; unsurprisingly, Kramer decided to try his hand at this as well – but the end result proved middling at best.

He certainly had his heart in the right place by choosing Gene Hackman, one of the finest actors of his generation, for the lead role – having already appeared in such superb pieces of alienation and paranoia as Francis Ford Coppola's THE CONVERSATION (1974) and Arthur Penn's NGHT MOVES (1975). His supporting cast looks impressive enough on paper, but they're given little to do: Candice Bergen (who's supposedly decorous here but is saddled with a highly unbecoming wig!), Richard Widmark (appropriately craggy in the role of a leading member of the secret organization), Mickey Rooney (amusingly cantankerous as Hackman's prison pal), Edward Albert (playing Widmark's young, ambitious and confrontational sidekick, thus making an interesting foil for the world-weary Hackman) and, in perhaps the least rewarding part of the lot, Eli Wallach (as Hackman's 'job' co-ordinator).

The film looks good but is bogged down by a rather icky central romance and the deliberate obliqueness of its narrative (starting with the hokey credit sequence). The effectively ironic revelation, then, is unfortunately followed by a number of other less convincing (not to say unwarranted) plot twists in quick succession – the last of which even rips off GET CARTER (1971)!


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 June 1977 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

The Domino Principle See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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