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The Killing of A Chinese Bookie

1 rating: 5.0
1976 film directed by John Cassavetes

originally the running time was 135 minutes.  John Cassavetes recut and edited the film to it's prefered version of 109 minutes.  

Director: John Cassavetes
Genre: Drama
Release Date: February 15, 1976
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about The Killing of A Chinese Bookie

Meet Cosmo Vitelli, a nice guy who happens to owe the Mob a lot of money.

  • Aug 23, 2009
  • by
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie is a drama written and directed by John Cassavetes.  Ben Gazzara stars as Cosmo, a charming, funny but lonely guy who loves to gamble and pretend he's a big shot.  Cosmo owns a sleazy strip club and loves to MC the shows.  One day he finally pays off his gambling debts and to celebrate he plays cards.  After a few hands he winds up owing the syndicate even more money.  Down and out, the gangsters offer Cosmo a deal.  All he has to do is rub out some mealy mouth old bookie.  If he succeeds then his debt will be cleaned but if he fails then it's curtains.  One of the hoods is his one true friend Flo (Timothy Carey) who doesn't like to rough him up to get his debts but Cosmo knows it's business.  Is this offer too good to be true?  Will killing some old bookie be the end of his troubles?  What really lurks behind this seemingly happy go lucky club owner who loves his girls and cards?

I really enjoyed this movie.  John Cassavetes knows how to get really deep with his story and dialog.  He's always champions the "loser" and the "every man".  his writing is real tight but his direction and be a tad "loose".  But I enjoy his films and he really knows how to capture the essence and personality of Joe Public.  The three main actors are excellent.  Cosmo is a guy you really feel for.  Flo, a gangster who a code of honor and a man of self respect.  Mort on the other hand is a real sleaze.  You almost smell the Aqua Velva and Brylcreem oozing off of the near-do-well,  If you enjoy dialog driven character studies then I suggest you check this movie out.

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