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Prime Cut (1972, Lee Marvin, Gene Hackman)

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Lee Marvin, an enforcer for the Chicago mob, is sent to collect a $200,000 debt from a Kansas City meat packer (Gene Hackman) who has a sideline in white slavery. This violent, entertaining thriller takes a dark and witty look at life in America’s heartland. Marvin and Hackman are both excellent, as is Sissy Spacek as a girl Marvin rescues from a stockyard slave auction. Despite the horrors the characters face, the film has a strong undercurrent of serenity and optimism.

Prime Cut was Sissy Spacek’s first speaking role in a film. Some claim that she can be glimpsed in a street scene in Paul Morrissey’s Trash (1970).

production details
USA | 88 minutes | 1972

Director: Michael Ritchie
Producer: Joe Wizan
Director of Photography: Gene Polito
Editor: Carl Pingitore
Music: Lalo Schifrin
Script: Robert Dillon
Art Director: Bill Malley

cast
Lee Marvin as Nick Devlin
Gene Hackman as Mary Ann
Angel Tompkins as Clarabelle
Gregory Walcott as Weenie
Sissy Spacek as Poppy
Janit Baldwin as Violet
William Morey as Shay
Clint Ellison as Delaney
Howard Platt as Shaughnessy
Les Lannom as O’Brien
Eddie Egan as Jake
Therese Reinsch as Jake’s Girl
Hugh Gillin as Desk Clerk
Gladys Watson as Milk Lady
Jerry Tracey as Orphan Sold at Auction (uncredited)
Judy Williams as Orphan Sold at Auction (uncredited)

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