6.7/10
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51 user 23 critic

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 by), William Price Fox (screen story by) (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 & Ray Bob & Ray ... Hugh Upson / David Chetley / Sandy Van Andy / Walter Chronic / Paul Hardly / Arthur Lordly (as Bob and 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 ... Mrs. Watson
Paul Benedict ... Zen Buddhist
Simon Scott ... Mr. Kandiss
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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:

See the hilarious BATTLE OF THE BUTT! 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Christopher Mott Society is a parody of the ultra-right-wing John Birch Society. In the scene where the Mott society is meeting, they listen to a record album of a talk by a right-wing pundit; many right-wing pundits put out albums of their speeches in the 1960s and 1970s and widely distributed them for sale in friendly newspapers, since they could only afford to get radio time on low-power stations. See more »

Goofs

When the church service is being televised, the choir boy in the upper right is replaced in later takes. See more »

Quotes

Odie Turman: It's all a big bull...
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Connections

Referenced in Midnight Hard (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

He Gives Us All His Love
Written and Performed by Randy Newman
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User Reviews

Incredibly Funny Movie, But Why Was Everybody Amused By The Dog-Kicking Moment?
30 March 2002 | by richard.fuller1See all my reviews

Never was the human limitations tested as they were in this film, when the town of Eagle Rock, Iowa, must quit smoking for 30 days to win a foolish challenge proposed by a big tobacco company. As Parent Trap became a strange testimony on how divorce affects children, so has Cold Turkey become a statement on addiction and withdrawal, with humorous results.

Dick Van Dyke is the town minister who finds himself caught up leading the fray; first he must develop an addiction, then join his neighbors in quitting. Barnard Hughes is the town doctor, who cannot quit smoking at all. The fight with his wife over the ashtrays in the car brings a smile to my face everytime. Bob Newhart is the tobacco company representative who must now get someone to start smoking so they will lose the bet. Pippa Scott is Van Dyke's wife, Natalie, who endures some of the most verbal spousal abuse, laced with concern and mock sincerity ("There's a demon in you, Natalie. Why are you working against me, Natalie?"), that I have ever heard. Scott only has one scene with dialogue. Jean Stapleton, Vincent Gardenia, Paul Benedict, Barbara Cason, Tom Poston and Graham Jarvis also appear in various roles. And yes, Bob and Ray spoof many of the newscasters who were popular at that time with hilarious results. They do it so well and are both so unassuming, you will not realize it is the same two guys over and over again. But the town's withdrawal is hysterical as well. I will always love when the crossing guard screams at the little girl. And the auto smash-up that happens just before the dog-kicking incident will hold your undivided attention. Finally, the town council is told if they can wait another day or so, the president of the United States himself, then Richard Nixon, will present Eagle Rock with the prize money. The council's reaction is absolutely brilliant. Add to all of this a typical Randy Newman song, 'He Gives Us All His Love', played at the beginning, the end and when Dick Van Dyke realizes the town is caught up in its own celebrity as he watches over a dozen children run by wearing masks of his own face. They just don't make films like this one anymore.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

19 February 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cold Turkey See more »

Filming Locations:

Macksburg, Iowa, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$11,990,000
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Tandem Productions, DFI See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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