The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

John Cassavetes’s uncompromising character study of a gangster.

Receiving its long-overdue Blu-ray premiere, as part of this Dual Format Edition, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie is John Cassavetes’s uncompromising character study of a gangster.

In an absorbing performance, Ben Gazzara plays small-time Sunset Strip entrepreneur Cosmo Vitelli, owner of the Crazy Horse West night spot. An obsessive showman, Cosmo navigates a murky world of loan sharks and crooks to keep his club afloat, but when a gambling debt spirals out of control he is blackmailed into accepting a murderous commission. Featuring stand-out turns by Seymour Cassel and Timothy Carey as the underworld racketeers out to fleece Cosmo, John Cassavetes’s portrayal of one man’s hubristic descent subverts the conventions of its genre to explore the darker side of the American dream.

Arguably the most plot-driven of his films, Cassavates withdrew The Killing of a Chinese Bookie shortly after the initial release and subsequently re-cut a shorter version with a different opening. The re-cut version is available on the Blu-ray and the DVD includes the long version amongst the special features.

Product information

    • Certificate

      15

    • Colour

      Black/white

    • Sound

      Sound

    • Running time

      134mins

    • DVD region

      • 2 Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories

    • Blu-ray region

      • B - Includes most European and Middle-Eastern countries, all of Africa, Australia and New Zealand

    • Catalogue number

      BFIB1177

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