Best Seller 1987 R CC

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(53) IMDb 6.5/10
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A widowed Joseph Wambaugh-type cop who writes best-selling crime novels is approached by a former professional hit man to write his life story.

Starring:
James Woods, Brian Dennehy
Runtime:
1 hour 36 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

Best Seller

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller
Director John Flynn
Starring James Woods, Brian Dennehy
Supporting actors Victoria Tennant, Allison Balson, Paul Shenar, George Coe, Anne Pitoniak, Mary Carver, Sully Boyar, Kathleen Lloyd, Charles Tyner, E. Brian Dean, Jeffrey Josephson, Edward Blackoff, Branscombe Richmond, J.P. Bumstead, William Bronder, Jenny Gago, Michael Crabtree, Clare Fields
Studio MGM
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

James wood is perfect in the role.
Barry Chen Siew Soon
Top notch movie, great story, very interesting plot and a lot of bad-assery.
CaptainJack
Besides, a lot of people in his life just seem to end up dead!
Scott FS

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By "jenner125" on July 18, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
If you're not a James Woods fan, you wouldn't understand, but bear with me:
This movie is really a story about the redemption of the assassin Cleve, played by Woods. The characters in the movie are given little depth by the writers, but the stars give heart to this film. I was most intrigued by the performance of Woods. Most actors play assassins as raving psychotics, (and typically Woods is no exception) but Woods takes the character of Cleve a step further. Seen in the beginning of the film as a savior to the best selling author and cop named Dennis played by Denneghy, Cleve at first shows a cool exterior and one wonders if this will be yet another Woods' film where he simply gets to shoot a lot of people. But when the character of Cleve comes to life, Woods shows his depth as an actor. Cleve's cool exterior and successful career as an assassin masks a tangible vulnerability as Cleve tries to come to terms with his life, wanting himself to be seen by the public as "sympathetic" in Dennis' "best seller." (You see this at the very end of the film where Cleve has to make a decision: get final revenge on his boss Matlock or save Dennis's teenage daughter). The ending is worth every minute of the background 80's synth music.
Cleve doesn't feel guilt in the murders he's committed for the cupidity of the company; as Cleve says matter-of-factly, "It's the profession I was in, Dennis." This streak of sociopathic deeds combined with an obession for verbal politeness was an interesting mix that I found intriguing. (One tongue-in-check example is after Cleve saves Dennis' life, he places a card on Dennis' windshield with the simple message: "Say thank you!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Scott FS VINE VOICE on August 14, 2004
Format: DVD
Somehow, I missed this when it was released theatrically, and I'm sorry I did.

James Woods gives a boffo performance as a professional hit man, who tries (for a long time) to convince a cop named Dennis (Brian Dennehy) that he is telling him the truth about his life as a killer. Woods plays Cleve, and is simply fantastic. Other reviewers emphasize Woods' performance, but Dennehy more than holds his own.

Cleve is the type of person you'd be fascinated as heck to know from a distance, but I'm sure I'd not be very comfortable up close and personal with such a violent, loose cannon. He can be sympathetic, but just when you think you can trust him, he turns horribly violent. Besides, a lot of people in his life just seem to end up dead!

There are some formulaic aspects to the film, but all in all, it's fresh, compelling, and the kind of movie you're going to remember for quite a while. It will actually keep you guessing to the end.

If you are looking for a taunt, tense thriller, this is a great choice. How come I've never heard of it? I'm not sure. I just can't understand how it was overlooked.

Highly recommended.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By William T. Parnell on May 27, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
James Woods and Brian Dennehy both shine in this thriller about a cop/author who teams with a psychotic killer in order to bring down an organized crime figure.
It is fascinating to watch the interaction betwwen the two leads. Dennehy knows that Woods is a cold-blooded killer yet he uses a combination of physical presence and intestinal fortitude to keep the the smaller Woods in line. Woods' character actually tries to befriend Dennehy but one is never sure that he won't snap and kill Dennehy at any moment.
This is an excellent film and a showcase for the talents of these two fine actors. I hope a DVD version will be released but until then it's VHS only.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 23, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I was a fan of James Woods when I first watched this movie. After seeing this movie, I was mesmorized by his talent.Woods plays a killer for a corporation. Upon being fired, he sets his sights on destroying his boss with the cooperation of a former cop, now turned writer of novels, who was a former almost victim of Woods. He, all at the same time creates a picture of a hit man that almost makes him likeable and vunerable but at the same time shows his character to be digustingly vicious. In the end, he makes us see that he is human after all. This movie has great acting and I really enjoyed the cat and mouse game. Rent this movie!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S J Buck on March 7, 2007
Format: DVD
This cracking little thriller features two of Hollywoods most underated actors. James Woods always the 2nd string to better known actors, and Brian Dennehy who is now an award winning stage actor on Broadway.

Without these two actors and the chemistry that develops between them the film wouldn't have worked. Its an interesting story that keeps you guessing where its going (unless you've seen it as many times as I have). The direction by John Flynn is straightforward, and the script by Larry Cohen is pretty sharp. There are a few memorable scenes that will stick with you, and I would say its one of the few films I've seen where it could have been 15 minutes longer.

Woods plays the villian in the film, with Dennehy playing the cop who is now a successful novelist. Something in their past links them together and Woods wants Dennehy to write about it!

If you've managed to miss this film over the last 20 years, its well worth buying, as I have found it certainly holds up to repeated viewings.
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