The British Film Institute has revealed that it is planning to release on Blu-ray Dual Format Editions of John Cassavetes' The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976), starring Ben Gazzara, Timothy Carey and Seymour Cassel, and Opening Night (1977), starring Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes and Ben Gazzara. Street date for both is October 22.
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
John Cassavetes regular Ben Gazzara plays a seedy Los Angeles strip-club owner who runs up heavy gambling debts which he arranges to wipe out by murdering an elderly Chinese gangster. Also stars Seymour Cassel and legendary crime actor Timothy Carey.
Arguably the most plot-driven of his films, John Cassavetes withdrew The Killing of a Chinese Bookie shortly after the initial release and subsequently re-cut a shorter version with a different opening. The re-cut version is available on the Blu-ray and the DVD includes the long version amongst the special features.
Original 1976 cut (128 mins. DVD only)
Audio commentary - selected scenes on 1978 cut
Anything for John (90 mins documentary. DVD only)
The Haircut (dir. Tamar Hoffs. 22 mins. 1982 short film starring John Cassavetes)
A John Cassavetes classic, in which Gena Rowlands plays a successful actress who witnesses the accidental death of a teenage fan outside the theatre where she is performing. As time moves on, she finds herself haunted by the conviction that she is to blame for the death, and when her role in a new play begins to mirror her real life situation she begins to crack up under the strain. Cassavetes stars opposite wife Rowlands as her on/off lover.