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Trailers from Hell Investigates 'The Killing of a Chinese Bookie'

Photo of Trailers From Hell By Trailers From Hell | Thompson on Hollywood May 21, 2014 at 12:48PM

Today on Trailers from Hell, Larry Karaszewski talks John Cassavetes' 1976 crime masterpiece "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie," starring Ben Gazzara as Cosmo Vittelli.
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'The Killing of a Chinese Bookie'
'The Killing of a Chinese Bookie'

Today on Trailers from Hell, Larry Karaszewski talks John Cassavetes' 1976 crime masterpiece "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie," starring Ben Gazzara as Cosmo Vittelli.

Hitchcock had Jimmy Stewart, Kurosawa had Toshiro Mifune and John Cassavetes had Ben Gazarra. 1976's "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie," the second of three tempestuous collaborations between the determined director and his equally strong-willed star, is a fatalistic gangster movie with Gazzara's beleaguered strip club entrepreneur run through an obstacle course of existential conflicts worthy of a Norman Mailer novel. The 135 minute film bombed in its initial release and in 1978 Cassavetes performed some elective surgery bringing the star-crossed movie down to 108 minutes (Criterion released both versions in their Cassavetes box set, "Five Films").

This article is related to: Trailers, Trailers from Hell, Trailers, Video


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.