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Prime Cut (1972)

In this sleazy and irreverent crime thriller from Downhill Racer (1969) director Michael Ritchie, Lee Marvin plays Nick Devlin, a Chicago Mob enforcer sent to Kansas to collect a debt from Marion (Gene Hackman) – the owner of a slaughterhouse and the Mary Ann Meat Company who has a lucrative sideline in drug dealing and white slave trading, and the disturbing habit of grinding his enemies into mincemeat.

Teenage girls are raised at a phony orphanage for auction to brothels and bawdy houses. At one such auction, Nick befriends Poppy (Sissy Spacek in her film debut), a young thing bound for the meat rack.

 

While the engaging quirkiness initially comes thick and fast, Ritchie is unable to sustain the offbeat style for the duration. However, bloody bursts of violent action and great performances help this skewed B-movie through its rough patches.

Nick Devlin
Lee Marvin
Marion
Gene Hackman
Poppy
Sissy Spacek
Clarabelle
Angel Tompkins
Weenie
Gregory Walcott
Violet
Janit Baldwin
Delaney
Clint Ellison
Shay
William Morey
Shaughnessy
Howard Platt
O’Brien
Les Lannom
Jake
Eddie Egan
Jake’s girl
Therese Reinsch
Reaper driver
Bob Wilson
Brockman
Gordon Signer
Milk lady
Gladys Watson

Director
Michael Ritchie