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Cold Turkey (1971)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 19 February 1971 (USA)
Hoping for positive publicity, a tobacco company offers $25 million to any American town that quits smoking for 30 days. Amidst a media frenzy, Eagle Rock, Iowa accepts the challenge while the company's PR man tries to sabotage the effort.

Director:

Norman Lear

Writers:

Norman Lear (screen story), William Price Fox (screen story) (as William Price Fox Jr.) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dick Van Dyke ... Rev. Clayton Brooks
Pippa Scott ... Natalie Brooks
Tom Poston ... Mr. Stopworth
Edward Everett Horton ... Hiram C. Grayson
Bob Elliott ... Hugh Upson / David Chetley / Sandy Van Andy (as Bob)
Ray Goulding ... Walter Chronic / Paul Hardly / Arthur Lordly (as Ray)
Vincent Gardenia ... Mayor Quincey L. Wappler
Barnard Hughes ... Dr. Proctor
Graham Jarvis ... Amos Bush
Jean Stapleton ... Mrs. Wappler
Barbara Cason ... Letitia Hornsby
Judith Lowry ... Odie Turman
Sudie Bond ... Cissy
Helen Page Camp Helen Page Camp ... Mrs. Watson
Paul Benedict ... Zen Buddhist
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Storyline

Reverend Brooks leads the town in a contest to stop smoking for a month, But some tobacco executives don't want them to win, and try everything they can to make them smoke. If townspeople don't go nuts from wanting a cigarette, or kill each other from irritation and frustration, they will win a huge prize. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What happens when an evil tobacco company offers $25,000,000 to an entire town to stop smoking for thirty days? What happens when 4,006 heavy smokers from Eagle Rock, Iowa take up the challenge? See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for smoking content throughout and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 February 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der 25 Millionen Dollar Preis See more »

Filming Locations:

Des Moines, Iowa, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tandem Productions,DFI See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dropping the cigarettes onto the crowd, in the last midnight town square gathering, was actually done by putting 8" diameter, 25'-long pipes against the trees in the town square. The pipes were then filled with cigarettes. Then, on cue, air was blasted into the pipe bottom, shooting them into the air and onto the crowd. After each take everyone was asked to gather up the cigarettes from the ground and turn them in so they could be reloaded into the cigarette canons and rained down again. The filming of this final scene took several weeks in the late fall in Iowa where it is pretty cold. In the movie it is supposed to be summer time so the actresses are dressed in summer dresses. In between takes everyone (actors and extras) were huddled in winter coats sucking on ice cubes. The ice cubes kept their mouth and breath cold so they wouldn't steam when they breathed. See more »

Goofs

While the whole town does sign the 30-day non-smoking pledge, unless there was a wall around the town to shut people in, nothing prevents people from traveling to other nearby towns and smoking there, then returning to Eagle Rock. See more »

Quotes

Tobacco Executive: You said no town in America would sign up.
Wren: Must've - must've got my wires crossed somewhere.
Tobacco Executive: Now you'll say they won't go through with it.
Wren: Bottom line? Never.
Tobacco Executive: How do you know they won't smoke and hide out? How do you know that, Wren?
Wren: Well, they, uh... they took an oath. On, uh, like, a bible.
Tobacco Executive: We didn't think it was on a slab of bacon.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Hard (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

He Gives Us All His Love
Written and Performed by Randy Newman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
using humor to poke fun at greed always works
1 May 2005 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

Much like "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", "Cold Turkey" shows how crazy people can get when they're greedy. The plot centers on a town whose people are offered a lot of money if they can stop smoking for an entire month. They agree after getting convinced by the local clergyman (Dick Van Dyke), but things start going crazy when they don't get to have their cigarettes.

The movie also pokes fun at the media, with characters like "Hugh Upson" and "Walter Chronic". But overall, the movie makes fun of the "wholesome Middle America" image, showing how even seemingly idealistic small town folk can get corrupted when money is in the picture.


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