Peckinpah takes a paranoid ’70s conspiracy thriller premise and plays it with a hearty dose of absurdist comedy in this offbeat espionage caper. James Caan stars as an agent-for-hire employed by the CIA, whose career is nearly ended when he’s shot by his double-crossing partner (Robert Duvall). But after a little kung-fu physical therapy, he makes a remarkable comeback and is assigned to protect a Japanese politician being targeted by none other than his old nemesis. Peckinpah’s only urban-set film, The Killer Elite makes striking use of San Francisco locales: a shootout in Chinatown, a tense getaway along the Embarcadero Freeway, and, in the delirious finale, a ninjas vs. machine guns showdown aboard a docked warship in the former Naval Shipyard.