Directed by Sam Peckinpah
Starring James Caan, Robert Duvall, Arthur Hill, Bo Hopkins, Mako, Gig Young, Burt Young
Imprint is bringing Sam Peckinpah’s The Killer Elite (1975) to Blu-Ray in December. It’s not prime Peckinpah, thanks to the set being thoroughly dusted with cocaine, but James Caan and Robert Duvall are excellent (come to think of it, the whole cast is) and the action scenes bear Sam’s touch. Philip Lathrop’s cinematography really shows off San Francisco (it doesn’t look like that anymore, sadly).
The picture’s a bit confusing at times, as one double-cross after another piles up. But I’ve always liked it, and I wish Sam and Caan had worked again under better circumstances.
While the American Blu-Ray from Twilight Time included Sam’s Noon Wine (1967) done for television, this one promises an alternate cut of The Killer Elite. Since the unravelling of many of Peckinpah’s films almost always included mishaps in editing, it’s always interesting to see various cuts. Of course, Imprint is loading the set up with plenty of other extras, from commentaries and documentaries to still galleries and Jerry Fielding’s score isolated.
Don’t let my listing of the picture’s problems dissuade you (my big word of the day). As a Peckinpah nut and huge fan of Caan’s 70s work, it’s easy to recommend this one.