The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)

Crime, Drama, Thriller

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
Cast: Ben Gazzara, Timothy Carey, Seymour Cassel, Robert Phillips

Cosmo Vitelli owns the Crazy Horse West, a strip joint in Los Angeles. He's laconic, vet, and a gambler. When we meet him, he's making his last payment on a gambling debt, after which, he promptly loses $23,000 playing poker. The guys he owes this time aren't so friendly, pressuring him for immediate payment. When he's not able to do so, they suggest he kill a Chinese bookie to wipe away his debt. Vitelli and the film move back and forth between the double-crossing, murderous insincerity of the gamblers and the friendships, sweetness, and even love among Vitelli, the dancers, a dancer's mother, and the club's singer, Mr. Sophistication.

  • Criterion Collection Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 15 Feb 1976 Released:
  • 06 Apr 1999 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • John Cassavetes Writer:
  • John Cassavetes Director:
  • N/A Website:


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