IMDb > Cockfighter (1974)
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Cockfighter (1974) More at IMDbPro »

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Cockfighter -- Frank puts everything he has into a bet in a cockfight and then tries to get enough together to win big.
Cockfighter -- Southern action drama film about cockfighting.
Cockfighter -- Southern action drama film about cockfighting.


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7.3/10   1,431 votes »
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Charles Willeford (novel)
Charles Willeford (screenplay)
View company contact information for Cockfighter on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
August 1974 (USA) See more »
Southern action drama film about cockfighting. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Bring Me the Head of a Dead Game Cock ... See more (24 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Warren Oates ... Frank Mansfield
Richard B. Shull ... Omar Baradansky

Harry Dean Stanton ... Jack Burke

Ed Begley Jr. ... Tom Peeples

Laurie Bird ... Dody White Burke

Troy Donahue ... Randall Mansfield
Warren Finnerty ... Sanders
Robert Earl Jones ... Buford

Patricia Pearcy ... Mary Elizabeth

Millie Perkins ... Frances Mansfield

Steve Railsback ... Junior
Tom Spratley ... Mister Peeples
Charles Willeford ... Ed Middleton
Pete Munro ... Packard
Kermit Echols ... Fred Reed
Ed Smith ... Whipple
Jimmy Williams ... Buddy Waggoner
John Trotter ... Hansen
Lois Zeitlin ... Lucille
Joe Bentley ... Peach Owen
A.B. Greeson ... Pete Chocolate
Bob Hannah ... Deputy sheriff (as Bob Earl Hannah)
Sara Rickman ... Martha Middleton
Meg Brush ... Mary Elizabeth's mother
Oliver Coleman ... Senator Foxhall
Donnie Fritts ... Gangleader - old man mask
Bobby Dunn ... Gambler
Kim Bernard ... Gambler
Ank Carleton ... Captain Mack
Billy Abbott ... Referee
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dickey Betts ... Cigarette mask (uncredited)
Steven Gaydos ... Nixon mask (uncredited)

Directed by
Monte Hellman 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Charles Willeford  novel "Cockfighter"
Charles Willeford  screenplay

Produced by
Roger Corman .... producer
Samuel W. Gelfman .... co-producer
Original Music by
Michael Franks 
Cinematography by
Néstor Almendros 
Film Editing by
Lewis Teague 
Monte Hellman (uncredited)
Casting by
Michael Chinich 
Don Phillips 
Art Direction by
Charles L. Hughes  (as Charlie Hughes)
Pat Mann 
Production Management
Peter Cornberg .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Don Walters .... first assistant director
Art Department
Ed Turney .... props
Sound Department
Lee Alexander .... sound mixer
Richard Bryce Goodman .... boom operator
Kendrick Sweet .... sound effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Laurie Bird .... still photographer
Leslie Otis .... first assistant camera
Larry Robertson .... grip
Tom Skarda .... best boy
Bill Tharp .... key grip
Hal Trussell .... gaffer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Linda Civitello .... assistant wardrobe
Carol Hammond .... wardrobe
Patty Shaw .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Hal Harrison .... assistant editor
Other crew
Leonard Allen .... location coordinator
Frances Doel .... script girl
Frances Doel .... script supervisor (as Frances Kimbrough)
Steven Gaydos .... production assistant
John Trotter .... technical advisor
Bob Watkins .... production assistant
Lois Zeitlin .... production assistant
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
83 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The film has never been released in the UK and was recently banned from public showing at the 2006 Edinburgh Film Festival following intervention by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA). According to the BBFC the movie would never receive a UK certificate as the film contravened the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937 because the cockfighting scenes were organized for the purpose of filming.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Final Exam (1981)See more »


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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Bring Me the Head of a Dead Game Cock ..., 29 January 2006
Author: ArmsAndMan from Berkeley

Monte Hellman and Sam Peckinpah recognized the particular genius of Warren Oates, and it saddens me to think that younger film goers know little about Oates, and even less about Hellman. Makes a good companion piece for "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia." Although both films have similar plot devices, the performances by Oates are bravely unique, and moving in their fearless creativity.

The DVD includes a documentary about Oates that is a welcome companion to the feature. Esteemed critic David Thomson points out that Oates was not afraid to play dumb (unlike his occasional co-star Jack Nicholson, who always has to show the audience his underlying intelligence as a safeguard). And the commentary track, although low in volume, is worth leaning close and listening to 'back stage' stories about the production. In particular: Roger Corman's angry reaction to the final scene written for the final draft of the script.

This final scene of the movie is poetic and ambiguous, nothing you'd expect from a so-called exploitation picture. Maybe that's why Corman didn't approve. "Cockfighter" is at least half documentary, with real people in supporting roles, and filming real contests in cockpits in Georgia. Because Oates was so authentic, it would be easy to forget that this is a well-crafted performance from one of the most under-rated film actors who ever lived.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (24 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Cockfighter (1974)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Any know of any more cockfighting movies besides Cockfighter? stephenrodriguez
Any know of any cockfighting documentaries? stephenrodriguez
hey reddit paperless
Movie Poster eyeballkid02
Is this the first instance of a robber wearing a Tricky Dick mask? Ham_and_Egger
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