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The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)


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My review of this film from Sergio Leone Forum:

While I was watching it I was saying to myself that this is a CigarJoe film...  What a film it is though. Its fantastic.   It has its faults but for the most part its a great film.  

The good:  The on location filming is fabulous.  Very seedy and pure New York.  The film switches between a dark seedy look and then goes into a bright suburban feel whenever the club owner visits his girlfriend.  The plot was just fantastic.  The double cross took me by surprise.  The acting was superb.  Ben Gazzaro came across to me as a Tony Montana before scarface WITHOUT the hystronics.   Azizu Johari as the beautiful girlfriend and Virginia Carrington as her mother were also superb.

The bad. The plot.  I know I called the plot fantastic above.  It was good until the end.  SPOILER ALERTS.   The setup of the plot was pretty good.  As explained by CigarJoe you got to see Cosmo paying off his gambling debt and then getting set up to get back into debt.  Everything was going well until Cosmo was being set up to be knocked off inside the warehouse.  After he knocks off the one dude in the car and is chased by the second gangster,  did I fall asleep and miss him knocking him off also or did the plot jump to Cosmo going into his girlfriend's front door because thats what I saw next.   Then, the ending itself left too many open holes.  Did the Chinese ever get wind of who knocked the bookie off?  What about the other gangsters. Are they still after Cosmos?  Did he ever go to the hospital?  Then the long drawn out ending scenes at the club didn't thrill me either.  Closing those other holes mentioned would have been better.

As the film stands ( I saw the 1978 shortened version) I give it a 8 out of 10.   Its definitely worth owning...


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