6.1/10
2,312
48 user 66 critic

Winter Kills (1979)

Trailer
3:20 | Trailer
The younger brother of an assassinated US President is led down a rabbit hole of conspiracies and dead ends after learning of a man claiming to be the real shooter.

Director:

William Richert

Writers:

Richard Condon (book), William Richert (written for the screen)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Bridges ... Nick Kegan
John Huston ... Pa Kegan
Anthony Perkins ... John Cerruti
Eli Wallach ... Joe Diamond
Sterling Hayden ... Z.K. Dawson
Dorothy Malone ... Emma Kegan
Tomas Milian ... Frank Mayo
Belinda Bauer ... Yvette Malone
Ralph Meeker ... Gameboy Baker
Toshirô Mifune ... Keith
Richard Boone ... Keifitz
David Spielberg ... Miles Garner
Brad Dexter ... Captain Heller One
Michael Thoma ... Ray Doty
Ed Madsen Ed Madsen ... Captain Heller Two
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Storyline

Nineteen years after President Timothy Kegan (John Warner) was assassinated, his brother Nick (Jeff Bridges) 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nick Kegan's brother was the President of the United States. Nick is next in line... if he lives that long. Last week, even the maid tried to murder him... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to 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

Z.K. Dawson: Why should I kill your brother when I'm getting rich off him? Off his military spending, his space spending, his tax reduction and his - his crisis spending? Hell, you know, if your old man didn't own him already, I might've bought him myself, except for his snotty personality.
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Alternate Versions

TCM recently ran the film in a version from Columbia Television. It was cropped into a 4:3 losing all side information and the film was edited to remove all nudity, violence and language. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Blow Out (1981) See more »

User Reviews

 
have you heard of this movie? you too? me neither...
14 June 2008 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

Until recently that was. If you're a Jeff Bridges fan and look over his previous body of work on IMDb or netflix, you're soon to come across what looks like a small paranoid assassination/conspiracy thriller from the late 1970s- penned by Manchurian Candidate himself Richard Condon- Winter Kills. And then you'll realize until now you've never heard of the movie, unless you were around for the two weekends it was in release in 1979 or heard the minor blurbs how the picture went through ridiculous difficulty getting made. While one shouldn't group the making of the movie too closely with the final product itself, it's almost as crazy a story as in the film itself (one involving the mob, pornographers, marijuana money, and a re-shoot budgeted by *another* movie shot by the same director in-between in Germany).

So, as a humble 'who-is-this-guy' movie-buff on this site, I humbly recommend this movie incredibly so. It's a mighty sleeper, a comedy with the intent so black that it's hard to see where the drama stops and the laughs begin. At times it's also weirdly over-the-top (an orgasm at one point is the loudest one has ever seen in a non-porn, and for no real reason except to have it in there, or as part of an "act" perhaps), and with a cast that is irreproachable. Jeff Bridges, John Huston, Anthony Perkins, Sterling Hayden, Eli Wallach, Toshiro Mifune, Elizabeth Taylor - and most of these actors are barely in one scene! Yet everybody leaves there mark so indelibly that one grins from ear to ear suddenly recognizing them (Hayden in particular is a hoot as he practically is like Jack D. Ripper as an old man with a huge beard and a private fleet of tanks)(Huston, too, chews up the scenes he's in without even trying).

The plot... geez, I can't really say for certain. Let's just call a spade a spade and say it's a spoof on the Kennedy conspiracy (if there was one), and the power and influence of family and politics and the mob. It's a murder mystery, but it almost becomes moot who was the real killer as by the time its uncovered it's simply more fun seeing how one gets from point A to point B. Though Condon might have had a stronger plot for 'Candidate', and first time director Bill Reichert stumbles in a couple of spots in getting the comedy and suspense mixing just right, it's still amazing entertainment more often than not, and it's one of those nifty, strange treasures to be dug out from the video store or queued on a whim on netflix.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 May 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Winter Kills See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,083,799

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,083,799
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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