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The Killer Elite


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Region 2 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the US or Canada [Region 1]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)


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Product Details

  • Actors: James Caan, Robert Duvall, Arthur Hill, Bo Hopkins, Mako
  • Directors: Sam Peckinpah
  • Writers: Marc Norman, Robert Syd Hopkins, Stirling Silliphant
  • Producers: Arthur Lewis, Helmut Dantine, Martin Baum
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009PBUZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,232 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Killer Elite" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Customer Reviews

This one is very dated but it really has good action and the characters are good.
Robert J. Mcgrath
He appears to have forgotten even his most rudimentary of cinematic skills, clunkily filming everything with a generic, TV-Movie obviousness.
cameron-vale
I have heard several people review this movie in a bad light when it first came out.
Uncle Chino

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Uncle Chino on December 24, 2006
Format: DVD
I watched this movie a long time ago when I was much younger and it immediately became one of my favorites. First the movie was directed by Sam Peckinpah who's style I always liked. Second it stared two really powerful actors of the time in James Caan and Robert Duval. And lastly it had a LOT of action. It is a highly intelligent movie and several steps up from anytthing that you will ever see that has Ninja's in it. The movie revolves around a company of mercenaries that are hired by corporate interest or the government to do certain jobs. The movie story really takes off when two friends are torn apart by betrayal and then the movie becomes a story of revenge and obsession.

I have heard several people review this movie in a bad light when it first came out. But I must say that I enjoyed it back in the early 80's when I first saw it and I have watched it several times over and over since. Each time I still find the movie to be fun and interesting and the acting to be top notch.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 9, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Sam Peckinpah's The Killer Elite may not be the director's best film (I'll save that for either Cross of Iron or The Wild Bunch) but it's much better than the overrated The Getaway, and is generally a well-made action film.
The aspect that makes the film worthwhile is mostly hinged on Peckinpah's direction, with his usual death-in-slow motion and fast-paced shootouts. The first hour does plod a bit but the pace picks up considerably in the second half and culminates into an exciting shootout and martial arts battle on board a ship.
The Killer Elite is far from perfect, though. The beginning feels awkward and it takes a while to get the situation and characters straightened out. The plot is also executed in a far more complex manner than it needs to be, resulting in quite a bit of confusion. Robert Duvall is also underused, and the conflict between he and James Caan isn't as compelling as it could or should have been.
Performance-wise, The Killer Elite is well-acted. James Caan is solid as the betrayed CIA operative, though his character is a bit too nice for a guy who was shot in the kneecap and elbow by his best friend. Robert Duvall is decent with the limited screen time he has. Bo Hopkins is the real scene stealer as the psychotic agent, and he plays a good guy!
The Killer Elite is decent entertainment, with some energetic action sequences. Just rent the film, it wouldn't hurt.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 21, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
The first Peckinpah I ever saw -- and it hooked me forever. Makes today's "action" flicks (Con Air, The Rock, The General's Daughter, etc.) look like the overwrought, underfilled plastic fantastics they are.
That, and McQueen and Duvall are cooler than you.
Plus the fights.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marie Elena Puleo on May 16, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
HUSBAND WATCHES THIS MOVIE AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH. HAS LOANED OUT TO FAMILY & FRIENDS AND THEY ALSO ENJOYED
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PJR on January 7, 2013
Format: DVD
Perfectly decent double cross spook film if you take into account that it is dated.

The production values, editing, sound track/music seem very "60's" which was still going on in 70s when this was made. And not the best from that era. Hardly seems mind-blowing today with for example ninja warriors fighting American mercenary gunmen on old mothballed battle ships and all that. A little too cute for me.

Look at it historically and it is kind of fun to see a taste of some the production and stylistic ideas they were experimenting with. More importantly, looked at historically it is interesting to see it in the context of growing cynicism 60s and 70s about government spy games and various bureaucracies using spies and mercenaries as pawns, and the elusiveness of truth in games of power. Not as sophisticated as some of the cold war moral ambiguity spy films, but in avoiding the focus on the cold war it was maybe more interesting viewed retrospectively.

For me, I felt a bit detached from it I think because the dated feel of it was distracting. So it was not as "involving" as for example Three Days of the Condor -- which I would include in the spook-betrayal sort of film genre, or films based on John Le Carre books such as Spy Who Came in From the Cold. The James Caan character for example was not as well developed as he could have been. I think they did a much better job with Caan in Rollerball (love it), in its own way about betrayal of little people by big people, so I will say that the director here could have gotten more out of Caan in terms of making him sympathetic. But it was okay.

All in all. I think this was a perfectly respectable film in this genre allowing for when it was made and the styles that directors were playing with. If you are into movies in this genre and have an eye for film history, this is certainly one to have on your check list to watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Luke Killion on July 24, 2012
Format: DVD
"The Killer Elite" is a 1975 production from director Sam Peckinpah, known for his wild and action filled western epics. It also has the starring duo of James Caan and Robert Duvall, straight off the set of Godfather II (though Caan on has one scene during a flashback to Pearl Harbor day in 1941, coindiently, the Godfather's birthday). This was perhaps one of the first spy/assassin thrillers that became so popular in American cinema during the late 70's and early 80's. Many of these movies were spawned by the fallout from the Nixon era, when paranoia and distrust of secret governmental organizations was at its height. It has the hallmark of many classic 70's flicks in distrust of authority and the ever present threat of conspiracy waiting to happen.

This movie is one of the great examples of the evolution of Hollywood throughout the 60's and 70's; some of Peckinpah's earlier films show cliche driven projects that made the movie business an illusory and strictly regulated industry. That is not to say that the change in directorial styles during the baby boomer era depict events with total realism, but the filmakers were clearly given more room for artistic expression, along with scripts that had much more basis in reality.

Before this film begins, there is a disclaimer stating that the movie is entirely a work of fiction, but it also states that the concept of private security companies getting contracts from the CIA was real, which provides the basis for the story. James Caan and Robert Duvall begin the film as hard living partners handling political defectors for Com Teg/CIA. The kind of organization that is depicted is very reminiscent of the CIA/Cuban cells that operated on the Gulf coast after the fall of Batista and the Cuban missle crisis.
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