The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. 1976. USA. Written and directed by John Cassavetes. With Ben Gazzara, Timothy Carey, Seymour Cassel
35mm. 135 min.
Cosmo Vitelli, proprietor of a cheesy strip club called the Crazy Horse West, isn't a bad guy, but he drinks too much and gambles with abandon. Now Cosmo owes the mob more than $20,000 and the only repayment they want is the murder one of their enemies. The film plays with the idea of false identities, from the mob wrongly describing Cosmo’s target as a Chinese bookie to Cosmo himself—a self-styled suave, cool character who's actually quie rough around the edges.