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Best Seller (1987)

A hitman approachs a writer to help him create the next best seller on his career, but the violent world he was a part of has other plans.

Director:

John Flynn

Writer:

Larry Cohen
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Woods ... Cleve
Brian Dennehy ... Dennis Meechum
Victoria Tennant ... Roberta Gillian
Allison Balson ... Holly Meechum
Paul Shenar ... David Madlock
George Coe ... Graham
Anne Pitoniak Anne Pitoniak ... Mrs. Foster
Mary Carver ... Cleve's Mother
Sully Boyar ... Monks
Kathleen Lloyd ... Annie
Charles Tyner ... Cleve's Father (as Harold Tyner)
E. Brian Dean E. Brian Dean ... Taxi Driver
Jeffrey Josephson Jeffrey Josephson ... Pearlman
Edward Blackoff Edward Blackoff ... Thorn
Branscombe Richmond ... Longshoreman #1
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Storyline

Hit man Cleve approaches writer/cop Dennis about a story for his next book: How Cleve made a living, working for one of the most powerful politicians in the country. To get the story right, they travel around the country to gather statements and evidence, while strong forces use any means they can to keep the story untold. Written by Lars Skogan <si2_ls92362@debet.nhh.no>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A hired assassin. A cop turned author. Together they're rewriting the rulebook on the Mob. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hard Cover See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$4,278,150
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hemdale See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the novel that Dennis Meechum (Brian Dennehy was writing was "Retribution". See more »

Goofs

While the robbery at the beginning of the movie was set in 1972, the robbers are driving a 1975-1978 Ford Econoline van. See more »

Quotes

Cleve: Now you know why I never asked you to take a shower with me.
See more »

Soundtracks

PLAISIR D'AMOUR
Written by Jean Paul Martini
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User Reviews

 
You got yourself a bestseller.
5 July 2008 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

What looks like a b-grade buddy film (there were plenty around this time and usually looking to be humorous), is far from it. Director John Flynn's 'Best Seller', which was written by Larry Cohen (who makes a crackerjack combination), is actually a stark, stinging and darkly witty and violent crime caper with an out-the-shadow concept. Novel writing (mainly the sharp exchanges and character inserts) and its zesty tempo couldn't be faulted. Even with its talky core, Flynn keeps it gustily hard-boiled and rancorous with its occasional action sequences and lean suspense. Knowing that it heavily relies on the performances to be successful, Flynn sets-up the film around the pairing of James Woods and Brian Denneby. Woods effortlessly vivid and unbalanced performance frighteningly commands attention and Denneby is sensationally rock-steady. The two worked off each other impeccably and build a sympathetic, but also conflicting edge that never feels forced. Cohen's biting script illustrates and develops quite a stimulating, random and unusual relationship between the two. While his usual social commentary (quite a familiar one) and plot devices playing second fiddle to the complex arrangement. The rest of the support cast don't quite have the same impression, but Paul Shenar and Victoria Tennant are good in their roles. The weak points would have to be that of Jay Ferguson's ugly sounding synthesiser score and a mishandled conclusion. A solidly rewarding crime thriller drilled home by two tremendous lead performances.


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