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.
Where to Get It: Public libraries, Netflix or Amazon
Speaking of Chinese, happy year of the rabbit!
Wow. That is an UNFORTUNATE coincidence. Really dropped the ball on that one. Probably should have gone with Night of the Lepus for the Year of the Rabbit.
Why unfortunate? Seems like it makes your choice even more appropriate.
Well, there are no real Chinese characters in the movie; it’s kind of like Chinatown that way. Most of the film is Gazzara deciding what he’s going to do, then getting up the nerve to do it, and the aftermath. Might not be inappropriate, but its definitely not a film with any real Chinese content.