IMDb > Killer of Sheep (1978)
Killer of Sheep
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Killer of Sheep (1978) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 20 | slideshow)


User Rating:
7.5/10   4,102 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for Killer of Sheep on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 June 2008 (UK) See more »
Stan works in drudgery at a slaughterhouse. His personal life is drab. Dissatisfaction and ennui keep... See more » | Add synopsis »
3 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Remarkable independent portrayal of Black urban life... See more (34 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Directed by
Charles Burnett 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Charles Burnett 

Produced by
Charles Burnett .... producer
Cinematography by
Charles Burnett 
Film Editing by
Charles Burnett 
Sound Department
Willie Bell .... assistant sound
Charles Bracy .... sound
Andy Burnett .... assistant sound
Larry Clark .... assistant sound
Christine Penick .... assistant sound
Editorial Department
Kathy Thomson .... digital intermediate colorist
Other crew
François Vila .... press agent

DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
83 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The Library of Congress has declared "Killer of Sheep" as a national treasure and one of the first fifty on the National Film Registry. The National Society of Film Critics selected it as one of the "100 Essential Films" of all time. However, since the film was made without the proper legal permits and rights acquisition (due to the expense of the music rights) the film was never shown theatrically or made available on video. It had only been seen on poor quality 16mm prints at a scant few museums and film festivals. Thirty years after it's premiere the new 35mm print of Killer of Sheep was brilliantly restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive. In addition, all rights were secured for the music, allowing the film to be shown on the film festival circuit, theaters, and nationally broadcast by Turner Classic Movies. The film is also available on DVD.See more »
Continuity: 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 comin' up with this off-the-wall bullshit about "Henry started it".
Man:[he coughs harshly]
Man:Now if the, if the son of a bitch is too big for you, you come get me... You are not a child anymore. You soon will be a goddam *man*. Now, start learnin' what life is about *now*, son.
See more »
SolaceSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
40 out of 48 people found the following review useful.
Remarkable independent portrayal of Black urban life..., 11 April 2000
Author: zumlinz ( from Cambridge, USA

Somewhat reactionary to the black exploitation films that usually define the Black cinema experience in the 70's, Killer of Sheep presents a realistic portrait of a Black urban L.A. community. Burnett's method of telling a story, using the camera in the most unobtrusive manner, enlivens the film and draws the viewer into a world not frequently seen on film. Stan, the depressed insomniac lower middle-class worker struggles to provide for his family, love his wife and maintain responsibility to his community while haunted by the historical futility and impotence of the African American male. In Killer of Sheep, Burnett aptly demonstrates his knowledge of the cinema aesthetic and his proficiency with the camera while telling a most compelling story about the Black experience in America.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (34 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Killer of Sheep (1978)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
the emperor has no clothes joenusbaum
TCM floyd1985
A brief analysis of Killer of Sheep navarrereed
Why Was Stan Happy At The End Of The Film? shadowghost69
The Father/Son Relationship in KOS. shadowghost69
Any reason why this was moved to the saved section of my Netflix queue? chicoman06
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Kite Runner Lackawanna Blues Saving Face Rachel Getting Married My Own Private Idaho
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.