The Pickering Commission concluded that a lone gunman killed US President Kegan in 1960, in Philadelphia. 19 years later a dying man confesses to be the real shooter hired to kill him. Kegan's brother and filthy rich father investigate.
British mathematician Sebastian (Sir Dirk Bogarde), working on code decryption, unexpectedly falls in love with decrypter Rebecca Howard (Susannah York). This leads them to a complicated ... See full summary »
During the Korean War, Italian nurse Virna Lisi falls in love with two American fliers, Tony Curtis and George C. Scott. Lisi marries Curtis after he convinces her that Scott has been ... See full summary »
19 years after President Timothy Keegan was assassinated, his brother Nick 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Joe Kegan owns so much of America, he figures the flag should salute him every morning. Some people say he stole the presidency of the United States for his son. He claims he bought it, fair and square... See more »
The nickname of the character of former U.S. President Timothy Kegan (John Warner) was "Tim" whilst the nickname of his brother Nicholas Kegan was (Jeff Bridges) was "Nick". The nickname of the two characters' father was "Pa" Kegan (John Huston) - his first name is never given. See more »
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 »
I got sixty million bucks riding on that ship, kiddo, and you leave her like a Friday-night hooker.
See more »
Reissued in 1983 with deleted scenes restored. See more »
William Richert's "Winter Kills" is a strange, offbeat film, to say the least. It begins seriously, but then changes tones and becomes a searing black comedy. I felt a little guilty about enjoying the film so much, considering that it's about a political assassination cover-up.
But, then I changed my mind. After all, this, "Prizzi's Honor" and the great "The Manchurian Candidate" were all based on novels written by the same author, Richard Condon. The one thing these films all have in common are that they are savage comedies about serious subjects. So perhaps that was the tone Condon was going for. The humor will escape some, but those who can appreciate dark humor will love it.
The film also contains a gallery of great performances by top talent. The cast includes Jeff Bridges, John Huston (a great actor as well as a great writer and great director), Anthony Perkins, Sterling Hayden, Richard Boone, Eli Wallach and in a cameo, Elizabeth Taylor. They make the most of this material and play it very straight. This is the key to the film's success. If they had played it slyly, it may not have worked as well.
But it's not fair to praise the cast only. William Richert also deserves praise for maintaining such uneven shifts between tones and for telling such a potentially confusing storyline with style and grace. It's such a solid script and such strong direction that he should have received Oscar nods for his work.
"Winter Kills" exists in two versions. In 1980, Magnetic Video briefly released the theatrical cut, which was edited to deemphasize the comedy and rush-released by Avco Embassy. However, in 1983, Richert was given the green light to re-edit his film. This version, with the original ending restored and many of the comic moments restored, was released by Embassy Home Entertainment in 1984.
My rating applies to the 1983 re-edit, although I would really like to see the original 1979 edit. If anyone out there has a copy of the 1980 Magnetic Video release, e-mail me.
**** out of 4 stars (1983 re-edit)
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