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Cockfighter (1974)

 -  Drama  -  August 1974 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,235 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 33 critic

Southern action drama film about cockfighting.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Frank Mansfield
Richard B. Shull ...
Omar Baradansky
...
Jack Burke
...
Tom Peeples
...
Dody White Burke
...
Randall Mansfield
Warren Finnerty ...
Sanders
Robert Earl Jones ...
Buford
Patricia Pearcy ...
Mary Elizabeth
...
Frances Mansfield
...
Junior
Tom Spratley ...
Mister Peeples
Charles Willeford ...
Ed Middleton
Pete Munro ...
Packard
Kermit Echols ...
Fred Reed
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Storyline

Frank Mansfield has wanted to win the Cockfighter of the Year medal for ages. Frank never speaks. After shooting his mouth off one too many times then losing a champion rooster in a casual hotel room cockfight, he swore never to speak again until he's won that award... He makes a bet with old crony Jack to be settled at the upcoming meet. Frank puts his car and his trailer on the line; he loses. Jack gets the trailer, and Frank's part-time girlfriend who goes with it. Frank's long-time girlfriend Mary Elizabeth wants him to get serious and settle down. But Frank has to raise some money for a new cock - $500 - then he can form a partnership with fellow cocksman Omar Baradansky and make another try for that medal... Written by David Woodfield

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

August 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Born to Kill  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While trying to come up with an ad campaign to this seemingly unmarketable film, American International's advertising committee came up with this humorous fake tagline: "He came into town with his cock in hand, and what he did with it was illegal in 49 states." See more »

Connections

Featured in Monte Hellman: American Auteur (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of those great films made before stars mattered
14 February 2001 | by (Topeka, Kansas) – See all my reviews

"Cockfighter" is not an easy movie. It doesn't have one of those carbon-copy scripts that you can write like cheap romance novels. It doesn't have characters that cater to what the stars think will make them look good. There is no spoon-feeding here.

Just re-released for sale on tape (and DVD), this film is now available again for those who like to watch a movie that honestly takes you someplace that few of us have ever been. Warren Oates plays a character who lives by a moral code much like the people in the pulp westerns and detective stories -- a man's honor is shown by his actions, and his willingness to see his convictions through to whatever end may come. After letting his pride destroy his chance of winning a high honor amongst cockfighters, he takes a vow of silence that will last until he earns that honor.

While the scenes of actual cockfights can be distressing, they are essential to showing the viewer the main character's struggle as well as his obsession. When the character's love interest is added to the equation, the story takes on an epic quality formerly reserved for tales of a knight trying to win the love of his lady and the respect of his peers.

Perhaps that may be giving the film too much credit, but I don't think so. While there are plenty of exploitational elements to draw a wide audience, the actual meat of the film is a man seeking redemption and honor.

Find this movie. Watch it. Enjoy it. And see if it doesn't stick in your mind a heck of a lot longer than the average contemporary "Hollywood" movie.


9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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