6.5/10
4,099
33 user 35 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

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
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 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
True Believer (1989)
Drama | Crime
    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
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 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
The Outfit (1973)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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
Citizen Cohn (TV Movie 1992)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

As lawyer and power broker Roy Cohn lies dying of AIDS in a private hospital room, ghosts from his past visit him as he reflects on his life and loves.

Director: Frank Pierson
Stars: James Woods, Joe Don Baker, Joseph Bologna
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
The Sergeant (1968)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A story of a brilliant master sergeant with a great career behind him and transferred to yet another post, his attraction to a younger man eventually overrides him, to a point where his latent homosexuality, finally emerges.

Director: John Flynn
Stars: Rod Steiger, John Phillip Law, Ludmila Mikaël
Touched (1983)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Two mental patients in an institution fall in love and plan to escape in the search of a normal life.

Director: John Flynn
Stars: Robert Hays, Kathleen Beller, Ned Beatty
Protection (2001)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 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
Framed (1975)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A gambler kills a sheriff in self defense. But as everyone in conspiring against him, he is condemned to a long sentence in prison.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: Joe Don Baker, Conny Van Dyke, Gabriel Dell
Fast-Walking (1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A corrupt prison guard becomes involved in a plot to murder a black revolutionary serving time in his prison.

Director: James B. Harris
Stars: James Woods, Tim McIntire, Kay Lenz
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 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 »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA 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

Cleve`s mother, actress Mary Carver also played A J and Rick Simon`s mother on the detective series Simon and Simon. See more »

Goofs

The movie very clearly states that the main action takes place in 1987. Meechum is given an invitation from Madlock to an afternoon party on "Saturday, April 22nd at noon". April 22nd fell on a Wednesday in 1987. See more »

Quotes

Cleve: That was the second time you've embarassed me, now try to control yourself, please.
See more »

Soundtracks

PERFECT ENDING
Words and lyrics by Lamont Dozier
Performed by Ben E. King
Produced by Lamont Dozier
Executive producer: Joe Regis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

James Woods at his best!
19 August 2003 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

People rush over themselves to praise Al Pacino and Robert De Niro so much that some other great actors who made an impact in the 1970s get overlooked. James Caan is one name that immediately springs to mind, and James Woods is another. Both have appeared in some sub-standard stuff over the years (as have Pacino and De Niro for that matter), but at their best they were/are as good as anybody working today. Twenty years ago Woods starred in one of my all time favourite movies David Cronenberg's stunning 'Videodrome'. He'd already been around for years getting solid character parts but I thought after 'Videodrome', and subsequently co-starring with De Niro in Sergio Leone's 'Once Upon A Time In America', he was going to be recognized as one of the greatest actors of his generation. Sadly for some reason this just didn't happen. Even so I highly recommend underrated 1980s Woods movies like 'Cop', 'The Boost' and this one, 'Best Seller', for some of his greatest performances. The movie itself occasionally gets a bit cheesy in an 80s kind of way, especially the synth score from Jay Ferguson, but overall it's a cut above a lot of similar movies from the period. Director John Flynn had previously made the seriously underrated revenge classic 'Rolling Thunder', and the movie was scripted by exploitation legend Larry Cohen ('Black Caesar', 'Q', 'Maniac Cop', 'The Stuff'). 'Best Seller' isn't quite as good as 'Rolling Thunder', but it's a must see because of Woods, who is just terrific. No-one can play intense like Woods with the possible exception of Christopher Walken. Brian Dennehy is also very good, and Paul Shenar (Sosa from 'Scarface') makes a great villain. Also keep an eye out for a blink and you'll miss it cameo by Seymour Cassel ('In The Soup') as a hired goon. I can't say that 'Best Seller' is one of the greatest thrillers I've ever seen, but it's definitely worth your time, and James Woods playing misunderstood psycho hitman Cleve is an experience not to be missed!


34 of 38 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

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed