5.7/10
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31 user 20 critic

The Domino Principle (1977)

A Vietnam War veteran, imprisoned for murder, is offered his freedom if he accepts to undertake a contract killing for a shady organization.

Director:

Stanley Kramer

Writers:

Adam Kennedy (novel), Adam Kennedy (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Hackman ... Tucker
Candice Bergen ... Ellie
Richard Widmark ... Tagge
Mickey Rooney ... Spiventa
Edward Albert ... Ross Pine
Eli Wallach ... General Reser
Ken Swofford ... Ditcher
Neva Patterson ... Gaddis
Jay Novello ... Captain Ruiz
Joseph V. Perry ... Bowkemp (as Joseph Perry)
Ted Gehring ... Schnaible
Claire Brennen Claire Brennen ... Ruby (as Claire Brennan)
George Fisher ... Henemyer
Bob Herron ... Brookshire
Denver Mattson ... Murdock
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Storyline

Tucker is a chronic underachiever and a loser. A Vietnam war veteran who just can't seem to keep out of trouble, in the years since his discharge. The only thing he got out of the war was his skill with a rifle. Now, serving a long stretch in prison for murder, he has hit rock-bottom. But one day a man in a three-piece suit visits him in prison, a man he has never seen before, and informs him that he can walk out of prison a free man if he will shoot someone for them, no questions asked. Written by Strelnikoff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Trust no one. No one.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Penultimate film of producer-director Stanley Kramer, his last being The Runner Stumbles (1979) around two years later. See more »

Goofs

Gene Hackman leaves a plane wearing a grey pullover and carrying a jacket and coat over his arm. By the time he reaches Richard Widmark, who's waiting for him, he's now also carrying the pullover and also a suitcase. See more »

Quotes

Tucker: Tell me one thing
Tagge: Go ahead
Tucker: Is it over?
Tagge: I don't know. The bigger the stink, the more there is to cover up. And the man who worries the most is the man who gave the original order. If he panics, the domino starts to fall.
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Alternate Versions

West German theatrical version was cut by approx. 17 minutes. Strangely, the East German version was uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Some Day Soon
Lyrics by Harry Shannon
Music by Billy Goldenberg
Sung by Shirley Eikhard
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User Reviews

 
Who Shot the Plot?
28 December 2010 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

Vietnam veteran Gene Hackman (as Roy Tucker) is serving time in San Quentin for murder. Then, mysterious dark-suited Richard Widmark (as Tagge) arrives to spring Mr. Hackman from prison in return for his assassinating somebody very important. Hackman insists foul-mouthed cell-mate Mickey Rooney (as Oscar Spiventa) should also be released. On the outside, Hackman is eventually reunited with wigged-out wife Candice Bergen (as Eleanor "Ellie" Tucker). Handsome young Edward Albert (as Ross Pine) is part of the plan. Ever reliable Eli Wallach (as Tom "General" Reser) helps arranges stuff.

Very disappointing, "The Domino Principle" isn't what you're expecting from a Gene Hackman movie directed by Stanley Kramer. It seems to have suffered from re-writes during filming and/or extensive cutting. The opening monologue turns out to be pointless, along with much of what follows. It's impossible to determine what was intended.

The supporting cast must have been wondering what happened. Mr. Rooney ponders sexual exploits amusingly. "Instead of getting her period every 28 days, she had periods that lasted 28 days," is how Rooney describes one disinterested female; it's one of his cleaner observations. As we watch the plot unravel before our very eyes, Mr. Widmark sums it up as, "The bigger the stink, the more there is to cover up." Mr. Albert offers a good, albeit underdeveloped, characterization. In a noteworthy final appearance, watch for veteran Jay Novello as an immigration official who wants to see Hackman's passport.

**** The Domino Principle (3/23/77) Stanley Kramer ~ Gene Hackman, Candice Bergen, Edward Albert, Mickey Rooney


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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 March 1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Domino Principle See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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