6.5/10
4,269
33 user 37 critic

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
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Cop (1988)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An obsessive, insubordinate homicide cop is convinced a serial killer is loose in the Hollywood area and disobeys orders in order to catch him.

Director: James B. Harris
Stars: James Woods, Lesley Ann Warren, Charles Durning
The Outfit (1973)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Earl Macklin robs a bank owned by the mob, serves his prison time and is released, only to start a private war against the crime outfit that owned the bank.

Director: John Flynn
Stars: Robert Duvall, Karen Black, Joe Don Baker
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An LA police officer is murdered in the onion fields outside of Bakersfield. However, legal loopholes could keep his kidnappers from receiving justice, and his partner is haunted by overwhelming survivor's guilt.

Director: Harold Becker
Stars: John Savage, James Woods, Franklyn Seales
True Believer (1989)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A cynical former civil liberties attorney now reduced to "specializing" in defending drug dealers becomes transformed by an eight-year-old murder case.

Director: Joseph Ruben
Stars: James Woods, Robert Downey Jr., Margaret Colin
The Boost (1988)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Lenny Brown moves to California to find his fortune in tax shelter investments. When the federal government changes the tax laws, poor Lenny finds himself $700,000 in hock with nowhere to ... See full summary »

Director: Harold Becker
Stars: James Woods, Sean Young, John Kapelos
Defiance (1980)
Action | Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Tommy takes up temporary housing in a New York City neighborhood plagued by a violent gang called the Souls. Tommy is waiting for his next assignment as a seaman, and though he tries to ... See full summary »

Director: John Flynn
Stars: Jan-Michael Vincent, Theresa Saldana, Danny Aiello
F/X (1986)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A movie special effects man is hired to fake a real-life mob killing for a witness protection plan, but finds his own life in danger.

Director: Robert Mandel
Stars: Bryan Brown, Brian Dennehy, Diane Venora
Diggstown (1992)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Gabriel Caine has just been released from prison when he sets up a bet with a business man. The business man owns most of a boxing-mad town called Diggstown. The bet is that Gabe can find a... See full summary »

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: James Woods, Louis Gossett Jr., Bruce Dern
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A returning war veteran loses his family to a violent home invasion and decides to seek and retaliate against those responsible.

Director: John Flynn
Stars: William Devane, Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Haynes
Protection (2001)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A mobster moves to a new town as a protected witness and tries to start over, only to find he can't escape his old ways.

Director: John Flynn
Stars: Stephen Baldwin, Peter Gallagher, Aron Tager
Blue Steel (1990)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A female rookie in the police force must engage in a cat-and-mouse game with a pistol-wielding psychopath who becomes obsessed with her.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Ron Silver, Clancy Brown
Betrayed (1988)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An FBI agent posing as a combine driver becomes romantically involved with a Midwest farmer who lives a double life as a white supremacist.

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: Debra Winger, Tom Berenger, John Heard
Edit

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
Edit

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:

If words could kill... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hard Cover See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The American president whose likeness was used as the face on the masks during the 1972 robbery was Richard Nixon. 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

Dennis Meechum: Public relations, huh?
See more »


Soundtracks

REVERIE
Written by Claude Debussy
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Cult Movies 6
6 November 1998 | by TYLERdurden74See all my reviews

6. BEST-SELLER (action, 1987) In 1972, Policeman Meechum (Brian Dennehy) survives an armed robbery, which in turn inspires him to write a book about his ordeal. It becomes a best seller. Years later he meets Cliff (James Woods), a mysterious loner who saves his life. Cliff knows many personal things about Meechum's life and tells him that he can provide him with another assured best seller. In order for Meechum to believe him, Cliff takes him on a tour of his previous work as a hit-man. An uneasy alliance is formed, as Cliff's darkest secrets reveal his own.

Critique: There are many reasons to like Best-Seller. It has a good, entertaining premise (a rogue assassin on the loose), the moody cinematography (another Adam Greenberg job), and displays a strong performance from the always reliable Brain Dennehy. But best of all, it has what I consider to be James Woods' best role to date.

This capriciously underrated 1-time character-actor has given excellent performances in many films including: the sleazy TV-producer in David Cronenberg's interesting, albeit obscured masterpiece 'Videodrome' (1983), his red-neck southerner in 'The Onion Field' (1979-his breakthrough film), and in Oliver Stone's sadly neglected 'Salvador' (1986- for which he received an Academy Nominee).

In most of his films, Woods has specialized in playing low-life has-beens, who have few redeeming qualities. The only fault I saw in his earlier roles was immaturity, and the lack thereof of making his characters work. In Best-Seller, he plays it cool. The character of Cliff knows what he wants and how to get it, and proves himself worthy of Meechum's respect. What better actor to give us a tour through the life of a criminal, hit-man, sleaze-ball, all-nice guy?

QUOTES: Cliff: "Will power is what distinguishes the amateur from the professional. Do you have it Dennis? Will power?..Let's hope so."


13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 33 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed