The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)
Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 21
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 4
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 4,366
John Cassavetes takes a contemporary film noir turn (which he would return to in Gloria) after exploring domestic melodrama in A Woman Under the Influence with The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. Ben Gazzara plays Cosmo Vitelli, the owner of a sleazy Los Angeles strip joint, who loses $20,000 at a mob gambling club owned by a small time gangster (Seymour Cassel). Since Cosmo doesn't have the $20,000, he is forced to murder a Chinese bookie in order to clear his debt to the mob. What Cosmo doesn't
Feb 15, 1976 Wide
Apr 6, 1999
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John the Boss
Betty the Mother
Eddie "Red" (Gangster)
Soto Joe Hugh
The Chinese Bookie
Parking Lot Attendant
When Cassavetes is really cooking, even the moments that are awkward and forced can become electric.
John Cassavetes, who made much of his money performing in action films, put that experience to work as the director of this hard, brooding crime drama
There's no cinematography credit, which suggests Cassavetes either added that hat to his writer-director wardrobe, or the real culprit left town ahead of the posse.
It's rather like a shaggy dog story operating inside a chase movie. Chinese Bookie is the more insouciant, involuted and unfathomable of the two; the curdled charm of Gazzara's lopsided grin has never been more to the point.
Watching the film is like listening to someone use a lot of impressive words, the meanings of which are just wrong enough to keep you in a state of total confusion, but occasionally right enough to hold your attention. What is he trying to say?
With a heavily improvised script Cassavetes gets the most from his actors, each giving emotive performances.
This is my favorite John Cassavetes movie, perhaps because it's the most appealingly sleazy.
Cassavetes' films can be annoying and enigmatic, but they are usually creative and interesting. Not so with this one.
Gazzara plays a strip-club owner committed to staging sad, unsexy, decidedly personal semi-nude musical revues.
Heavy stuff, but it takes its sweet sweet time in getting to the point.
A one-of-a-kind gangster drama with an impeccable performance by Ben Gazarra.
A self-indulgent but inventive John Cassavetes written and directed film...
Even though this feels relatively streamlined by Cassavetes' standards, I thought it was eminently watchable, if not exceptionally profound.
Audience Reviews for The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
|Too much screen time not conected to the movie||6 months ago||0|