The Killer Elite (1975)

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The Killer Elite is a 1975 American action thriller film directed by Sam Peckinpah and written by Marc Norman and Stirling Silliphant, adapted from the Robert Syd Hopkins novel Monkey in the Middle. It stars James Caan and Robert Duvall as a pair of elite mercenaries who become bitter rivals and are caught on opposite sides of a proxy war over a foreign dignitary in the streets of San Francisco.

The cast also stars Mako, Arthur Hill, Bo Hopkins, Burt Young and Gig Young. Tom Clancy and Tiana Alexandra appear in their film debuts. The film represents the last collaboration between Peckinpah and soundtrack composer Jerry Fielding. It is considered to be among the first American films to feature ninjas.

The film received mixed reviews, with some critics perceiving Peckinpah as having "sold out" to commercial interests, while others criticized the film's use of martial arts tropes and imagery as contrived. Others, such as Pauline Kael, praised Peckinpah's direction and action sequences, and commended the film as a self-aware satire.

(Summary from Wikipedia)

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