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 know is he's part of a set-up. The bookie is actually a West Coast mob boss protected around the clock by bodyguards. The mobsters figure that Cosmo will be killed in an impossible hit and they can take over his nightclub. But Cosmo proves luckier than the mobsters think -- he manages to kill his target, and now the mobsters have to track down Cosmo and kill him. Initially, at 133 minutes, the movie was subsequently re-edited by Cassavetes to 109 minutes. Living in an underworld of power and intrigue, nightclub owner Cosmo Vitelli (Ben Gazzara) plays by his own rules. But when his gambling losses mount, he's pressured by a gangster to commit murder to free himself of the debt. Now he's caught in a dangerous game, where every move is a deadly risk, and the only goal is to survive! Ben Gazzara and Academy Award-nominated Seymour Cassel (Faces) ignite the screen in this power-packed action-thriller. An adventure that takes you into the depts of mystery and then blasts you to the height of suspense!

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The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)

Unrated

Drama · 1h 49m · 2/15/1976

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A film by John Cassavetes

Description

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 know is he's part of a set-up. The bookie is actually a West Coast mob boss protected around the clock by bodyguards. The mobsters figure that Cosmo will be killed in an impossible hit and they can take over his nightclub. But Cosmo proves luckier than the mobsters think -- he manages to kill his target, and now the mobsters have to track down Cosmo and kill him. Initially, at 133 minutes, the movie was subsequently re-edited by Cassavetes to 109 minutes. Living in an underworld of power and intrigue, nightclub owner Cosmo Vitelli (Ben Gazzara) plays by his own rules. But when his gambling losses mount, he's pressured by a gangster to commit murder to free himself of the debt. Now he's caught in a dangerous game, where every move is a deadly risk, and the only goal is to survive! Ben Gazzara and Academy Award-nominated Seymour Cassel (Faces) ignite the screen in this power-packed action-thriller. An adventure that takes you into the depts of mystery and then blasts you to the height of suspense!

Where to Watch

Status

Released

Language

English

Country

United States

Production Company

Faces Distribution

Revenue

$11,406
Part Of
Cast
Person Photo

Ben Gazzara

Cosmo Vittelli
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Timothy Carey

Flo (as Timothy Agoglia Carey)
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Seymour Cassel

Mort Weil
Person Photo

Robert Phillips

Phil
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Morgan Woodward

The Boss
Person Photo

John Kullers

The Accountant (as John Red Kullers)
Person Photo

Al Ruban

Marty Reitz
Person Photo

Azizi Johari

Rachel
Person Photo

Virginia Carrington

Mama
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Meade Roberts

Mr. Sophistication
Person Photo

Alice Friedland

Sherry
Person Photo

Donna Gordon

Margo Donnar (as Donna Marie Gordon)
Person Photo

Haji

Haji
Person Photo

Carol Warren

Carol
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Derna Wong Davis

Derna
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Kathalina Veniero

Annie
Person Photo

Yvette Morris

Yvette
Person Photo

Jack Ackerman

Musical Director
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David Rowlands

Lamarr
Person Photo

Trisha Pelham

Waitress
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Eddie Shaw

Taxi Driver (as Eddie Ike Shaw)
Person Photo

Sonny Aprile

Sonny (as Salvatore Aprile)
Person Photo

Gene Darcy

Commodore
Person Photo

Ben Marino

Bartender (as Benny Marino)
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Arlene Allison

Waitress
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Vincent Barbi

Vince (as Vince Barbi)
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Val Avery

Blair Benoit
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Elizabeth Deering

Lavinia
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Soto Joe Hugh

Chinese Bookie (as Soto Joe Hugh)
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Catherine Wong

The Bookie's Girl
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John Finnegan

Taxi Driver
Person Photo

Miles Ciletti

Mickey
Person Photo

Mike Skloot

Scooper
Person Photo

Frank Buchanan

Flo's Friend
Person Photo

Jason Kincaid

Parking Lot Attendant
Person Photo

Frank Thomas

Poker Player
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Jack Krupnick

Poker Player
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Harry Governick

Man at Bar (uncredited)
Person Photo

John Pappas

Bartender (uncredited)
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Derna Wylde

Dancer (uncredited)
Crew
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John Cassavetes

Director
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John Cassavetes

Writer
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Disc Releases
Disc Title Front Cover

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

(DVD, Digipack)

9/21/2004

Disc Title Front Cover

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

(DVD, Digipack)

8/21/2004

Disc Title Front Cover

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

(DVD)

4/6/1999

Disc Title Front Cover

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

(Blu-ray, Digipack)

10/22/2013

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