Peter Falk and John Cassavetes star as two old friends whose relationship is falling apart; two hours later, it is apparent there never was a friendship to begin with.
Cassavetes is a low-level criminal marked for extinction by ganglord Sanford Meisner, who employs Ned Beatty as hit man. Cassavetes calls Falk to help him, though neither Cassavetes nor the audience is certain that Falk isn’t part of the rubout strategy. That’s the superficial hook on which hangs the real story of human relationships and mutual abuse.
The interplay between the stars is excellent, Cassavetes slowly but steadily digging his own grave as he reveals his shallowness in dealings with Falk, girl friend Carol Grace (a beautiful performance) and estranged wife Joyce Van Patten (a brief but excellent characterization).