Order of Death

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Keitel is a cop whose secret world of high living (financed by illicit side-dealing) is invaded by Lydon, who not only confesses to a spate of cop-killings, but seems to know more about Keitel than is comfortable. Two little balls of poison, they become locked together in sadistic games in which the captor needs his victim as much as the victim needs his confessor. The film (shot in English) is very much in line with the Continental habit of turning genres around - like Leone with the Western, this is a spaghetti thriller - and it uses the hard-nosed framework as a prop for its greater interest in the moral complexities of guilt, punishment and transference, rather than the traditional gestures of its US models. Keitel is his usual ineffable self, his features glassy with repressed anxiety and violence; the only miscalculation is the casting of Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten), who seems as threatening as a wet poodle. CPea.

Release details

Duration: 101 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Roberto Faenza
Screenwriter: Ennio De Concini, Hugh Fleetwood, Roberto Faenza
Cast: Harvey Keitel
John Lydon
Nicole Garcia
Leonard Mann
Sylvia Sidney
Carla Romanelli

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Christina R

Copkiller (1983) is a very interesting film that takes your breath through the whole movie. It's about a Lieutenant Fred O'Connor , that is connected with a corruption. He met a young man Leo Smith, who claimed, that he was a Copkiller. During the whole film we know more about O'Connor's work, his personal life, about the problems of corruption. And we follow the relationships between the cop and a 'Copkiller' Smith, who lived with him at that moment.  
'Is he really the Copkiller, as he possessed himself?'- it is the main question that is whirling in our minds. On the one hand, he seemed a poor guy who had to live with the cop, because he was suspected in a row of murders, as we might think. And a cop seemed to be a tyrant. He was more likely to be a murderer than Leo. But who knows? On the other hand, a reason should be there, according to which Leo Smith came to the cop. Is he an innocent guy, that self-blamed himself in all possible crime or not?
The film has an atmosphere of constant tension. When I was watching it I was changing my mind for several times. I was totally confused and shocked by the end of the film. I had only one question:Why? Why was that man a killer? And how did he managed to arrange the situation in the suitable for him way? 
Harvey Keitel as O'Connor and John Lydon (yes, that punk from the Sex Pistols Johnny Rotten) as Leo Smith were starred in this film. Lydon's acting surprised me very much, his character is sympathized by the viewers and you can see every emotion on his face, you can feel what he felt. He seemed to be a good guy, a victim of the crazy cop O'Connor, but he was also a circumspect, artful and cool-headed man. But what about Keitel's character? Was he a dangerous man? Or was he cheated and betrayed? The situation is like in 'Reservoir Dogs', where he played one of the main roles.
I think the film as a whole is perfect, but sometimes there were moments that were overextended. The soundtrack is awesome, because I'm a fan of Ennio Morricone, and his music always corresponds to the events of the film. The ending is unpredictable and I recommend you not to be distracted from the film, otherwise you'll lose the plot, the thread of the story. To sum-up Copkiller is a great crime thriller film, which is well worth seeing.