Cast and Crew: Seymour Cassel, Timothy Carey, Haji
What It’s About: Burlesque show owner Cosmo Vittelli’s (Ben Gazzara) compulsive gambling gets him in over his head with only one way left to pay off his debt: kill a Chinese bookie for his creditors.
Why Watch it Today?: Writer/Director John Cassavetes died today in 1989. Cassavetes acted in films like The Dirty Dozen and Rosemary’s Baby to finance his own, independent movies with his stock company of actors. The Killing of a Chinese Bookie is one of these, a character study of a man who is forced to commit unpleasant acts just to finance his dream, which is him directing his burlesque show with a company of “actors”. A damn fine film.