HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Best Seller Cover PriceBuy this film here.
Year: 1987
Director: John Flynn
Stars: James Woods, Brian Dennehy, Victoria Tennant, Allison Balson, Paul Shenar, George Coe, Anne Pitoniak, Mary Carver, Sully Boyar, Kathleen Lloyd, Charles Tyner, E. Brian Dean, Jeffrey Josephson, Edward Blackoff, Branscombe Richmond, Seymour Cassel
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Back in 1972, Dennis Meechum (Brian Dennehy) was a cop working in the stolen property office when something unexpected occurred: a gang of crooks disguised with Richard Nixon masks burst in and robbed the place. These men were never caught in spite of a wide search, and Meechum had more reason to want them tracked down than others because they had shot his colleagues dead and injured him with a bullet too, but the only clue he ever had to their identity was the unusual marks on one of the gunmen's hands. The trail went cold... until fifteen years later.

Best Seller was one of those films best described as a sleeper, for it didn't do very much in cinemas, but on video and its late night television showings it gradually built a cult following among those who appreciated an offbeat thriller well told. No matter what its fans said, it was no neglected classic, but it was the sort of production you could catch and think you hadn't wasted your time as there was enough here to make it worth your while should you be looking for something out of the norm as far as cop flicks went. Not that it was way out there, with John Flynn at the helm it was never going to be anything other than no-nonsense, but it had that certain something.

Mainly what it had were James Woods and Brian Dennehy sparking off each other thanks to a Larry Cohen script, a combination which proved a winner as far as the tension went. If Best Seller boiled down to your basic uneasy alliance between the goodie and ostensible baddie, which may not have been as original as it appeared, it was where it headed with this set-up that mattered. Dennehy's cop in the interim has become a popular crime author, but when we catch up with him has writer's block; all that changes when he receives a proposition from Woods' shadowy Cleve who makes a memorable entrance in his life by shooting dead a crook who was taking aim at Meechum.

The cop turned writer has lost his wife, which is implied as the reason he cannot find any inspiration, so what better replacement for the deceased than a psycho hitman? Meechum and Cleve strike up a strange bond, wary of each other but seeing perhaps subconsciously that they have a need to be around, Meechum for his creativity, and Cleve for the hairbrained scheme he wants his help with. Which is this: if Meechum writes his life story, and specifically how the killer was involved with a corrupt and murderous industrialist (Paul Shenar), then he will have a book to sell and Cleve will have his revenge and redemption.

After that, no matter how Meechum would deny it, there is an unspoken attraction between the two men, as if fascinated by their differences bringing them together, although Cleve is it shown is a loose cannon, never happier when he has someone to kill. Will he endanger Meechum's life, or those of his daughter (Allison Balson) and agent (Victoria Tennant), or, as looks more likely, will those sharks he is now swimming with catch up and devour them all? There's a neat, paranoid mood to Best Seller which is brought out in the manner of the bad guys, anonymous yet sinister men in suits and shades, always turning up, whether watching from cars across the street or taking more muscular steps to foiling Meechum's investigation. Woods and Dennehy held centre stage with effortless ease, both charismatic but achieving a great double act, sometimes funny, other times edgy, and if it ends with more of a whimper than you'd like, otherwise it satisfied. Music by Jay Ferguson.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1830 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: