The Killing of a Chinese Bookie is a 1976 American crime film directed and written by John Cassavetes and starring Ben Gazzara. A rough and gritty film, this is the second of their three collaborations, following Husbands and preceding Opening Night.
Gazzara's character of the formidable strip club owner Cosmo Vittelli was in part based on an impersonation he did for his friend Cassavetes in the 1970s. But in an interview for the Criterion Collection in the mid 2000s, Gazzara stated that he believed Vittelli, who cares deeply about the rather peculiar "art" aspect of the routines put on at his nightclub but can't get his patrons (who are only there for naked girls) to, was a double of sorts of Cassavetes himself. Gazzara described his friend as a writer and director that totally believed in the importance and value of his work, because the work represented his heart and soul.