John Cassavetes's elliptical mid-1970s picture walks a fine line between self-indulgent and inventive. Fascinating in its originality, the film is somewhat undercut by an unsteady blend of naturalism and artifice. Originally developed with Martin Scorsese, the movie is ostensibly a gangster film, but the genre is bent into a demented character study. Cassavetes regular Ben Gazzara delivers an absorbing performance as the man forced into a moral quandary and barely aware of it. The movie was originally released in 1976 at 135 minutes, but it was re-edited in 1978 to 109 minutes.