Killer of Sheep (1978)

 |  Drama  |  20 June 2008 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 4,167 users   Metascore: 94/100
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Stan works in drudgery at a slaughterhouse. His personal life is drab. Dissatisfaction and ennui keep him unresponsive to the needs of his adoring wife, and he must struggle against ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stan (as Henry Gayle Sanders)
Stan's Wife
Charles Bracy ...
Stan's Daughter
Eugene Cherry ...
Stan's Son
Delores Farley
Dorothy Stengel
Tobar Mayo
Chris Terrill
Lawrence Pierott
Russell Miles
Homer Jai
Johnny Smoke


Stan works in drudgery at a slaughterhouse. His personal life is drab. Dissatisfaction and ennui keep him unresponsive to the needs of his adoring wife, and he must struggle against influences which would dishonor and endanger him and his family. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Official Sites:



Release Date:

20 June 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Matador de ovejas  »

Box Office


$100,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$31,728 (USA) (6 April 2007)


$339,884 (USA) (19 October 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Charles Burnett made this film when he was still at UCLA and for a budget of $5000. See more »


After Stan and his friend load the engine block on the truck, they drive away and it falls out, and a car is then seen parked along the curb. The car was not there when they carried the engine out. See more »


Man: [first lines]
Man: [to his older son] You let anyone jump on your brother again, and you just stand and watch - boy, I'll beat you to death! I don't care who started what, or whether he was winnin' or losin'; well, you get a thick oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, a goddam brick, get *anything*, and you knock the shit out of whoever fightin' your brother! 'Cause if anything was to happen to me or your mother, you ain't got nobody except your brother. And this goes for him, too - and he knows! You're the one that keep ...
See more »


Referenced in Life Itself (2014) See more »


Poet and Peasant Overture
Written by Franz von Suppé
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User Reviews

Stangely Compelling Film
7 November 2007 | by (Maida Vale, UK) – See all my reviews

For the life of me I wonder what prompted the people at the London Film Festival to screen this film at the NFT.

Filmed sometime in the 70s in Black & White it's the story of a family told over maybe two days and is strangely compelling.

There's no typically Afro-American Urban film scenes just a story about a family and what do. Children play games, dad goes to work and mum looks after the home, an everyday story of life. But don't let that put you off because the film really draws you in somehow. It features a great soundtrack of tunes taken from the 30/40s and some strange (to my mind) editing.

Do try and see this film if it's at a Festival near you because you too will be drawn into it as I was.

Weirdly Wonderful Film.

Black Narcissus

16 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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