6.7/10
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48 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 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

Famed radio comedy team "Bob and Ray" (Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding) appear in the film, each playing several roles. See more »

Goofs

When Amos starts his no smoking patrol he is located on a gravel road leading into town. Why didn't they ever show any other roads leading into town with the no smoking patrol on them if they were trying prevent tobacco products from entering Eagle Rock? See more »

Quotes

Odie Turman: [Holding a pistol at Wren] Don't you move, now. With my palsy, you're in enough trouble just standing there.
Amos Bush: Odie, what are you doing? Give me my gun!
Odie Turman: But he's a Communist! Look at them cigarettes!
Wren: I was just trying to explain to the, the old lady here, this car's a rental.
Odie Turman: Sure. And I'm an unwed mother.
See more »


Soundtracks

Hail to the Chief
(uncredited)
Written by James Sanderson
Played during band medley
See more »

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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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