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Cockfighter (1974)

R | | Drama | August 1974 (USA)
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Southern action drama film about cockfighting.

Director:

Monte Hellman

Writers:

Charles Willeford (novel), Charles Willeford (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Warren Oates ... Frank Mansfield
Richard B. Shull ... Omar Baradansky
Harry Dean Stanton ... Jack Burke
Ed Begley Jr. ... Tom Peeples
Laurie Bird ... Dody White Burke
Troy Donahue ... Randall Mansfield
Warren Finnerty Warren Finnerty ... Sanders
Robert Earl Jones ... Buford
Patricia Pearcy ... Mary Elizabeth
Millie Perkins ... Frances Mansfield
Steve Railsback ... Junior
Tom Spratley Tom Spratley ... Mister Peeples
Charles Willeford ... Ed Middleton
Pete Munro Pete Munro ... Packard
Kermit Echols Kermit Echols ... Fred Reed
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Storyline

Frank Mansfield has wanted to win the Cockfighter of the Year medal for ages. Frank never speaks. After shooting his mouth off one too many times then losing a champion rooster in a casual hotel room cockfight, he swore never to speak again until he's won that award... He makes a bet with old crony Jack to be settled at the upcoming meet. Frank puts his car and his trailer on the line; he loses. Jack gets the trailer, and Frank's part-time girlfriend who goes with it. Frank's long-time girlfriend Mary Elizabeth wants him to get serious and settle down. But Frank has to raise some money for a new cock - $500 - then he can form a partnership with fellow cocksman Omar Baradansky and make another try for that medal... Written by David Woodfield

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Born to Kill See more »

Filming Locations:

Juliette, Georgia, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film has never been released in the UK and was recently banned from public showing at the 2006 Edinburgh Film Festival following intervention by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA). According to the BBFC the movie would never receive a UK certificate as the film contravened the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937 because the cockfighting scenes were organized for the purpose of filming. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Final Exam (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bring Me the Head of a Dead Game Cock ...
29 January 2006 | by ArmsAndManSee all my reviews

Monte Hellman and Sam Peckinpah recognized the particular genius of Warren Oates, and it saddens me to think that younger film goers know little about Oates, and even less about Hellman. Makes a good companion piece for "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia." Although both films have similar plot devices, the performances by Oates are bravely unique, and moving in their fearless creativity.

The DVD includes a documentary about Oates that is a welcome companion to the feature. Esteemed critic David Thomson points out that Oates was not afraid to play dumb (unlike his occasional co-star Jack Nicholson, who always has to show the audience his underlying intelligence as a safeguard). And the commentary track, although low in volume, is worth leaning close and listening to 'back stage' stories about the production. In particular: Roger Corman's angry reaction to the final scene written for the final draft of the script.

This final scene of the movie is poetic and ambiguous, nothing you'd expect from a so-called exploitation picture. Maybe that's why Corman didn't approve. "Cockfighter" is at least half documentary, with real people in supporting roles, and filming real contests in cockpits in Georgia. Because Oates was so authentic, it would be easy to forget that this is a well-crafted performance from one of the most under-rated film actors who ever lived.


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