5.8/10
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7 user 24 critic

Fighting Mad (1976)

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An Arkansas farmer stages a one-man war against corrupt land developers who want to evict him and his neighbors from their farms for real estate developments.

Director:

Jonathan Demme

Writer:

Jonathan Demme
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Peter Fonda ... Tom Hunter
Gino Franco Gino Franco ... Dylan Hunter
Harry Northup ... Sheriff Len Skerritt
Philip Carey ... Pierce Crabtree
Noble Willingham ... Senator Hingle
John Doucette ... Jeff Hunter
Scott Glenn ... Charlie Hunter (as Scott Glen)
Lynn Lowry ... Lorene Maddox
Kathleen Miller ... Carolee Hunter
Ted Markland ... Hal Fraser
Laura Weatherford Laura Weatherford ... Fraser Child (as Laura Wetherford)
Gerry Weatherford Gerry Weatherford ... Fraser Child (as Gerry Wetherford)
Peter Fain Peter Fain ... Gillette
Al Wyatt Sr. ... Judge O'Connor (as Allan Wyatt)
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Storyline

An Arkansas farmer stages a one-man war against corrupt land developers who want to evict him and his neighbors from their farms for real estate developments.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When You Push Too Far, Even A Peaceful Man Gets Fighting Mad. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Colère froide See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

To give Editor Anthony Magro some breathing room, Writer and Director Jonathan Demme edited the climatic sequence where Peter Fonda's character storms Crabtree's property. See more »

Goofs

When Len Skeritt gets up from the scuffle at the construction site, he puts his hat on, but when he walks over to grill the "security expert", he's seen putting his hat on again. See more »

Quotes

Pierce Crabtree: You play, sheriff?
[Serves a tennis ball]
Pierce Crabtree: I don't play games.
Pierce Crabtree: It's not a game. It's a sport.
Sheriff Len Skerritt: Don't have time for them, either.
Pierce Crabtree: I told you to arrest the Hunter boy.
[Firmly serves a ball to his opponent]
Pierce Crabtree: Not half the people in the valley! You know, sheriff, a lot of folks didn't like the looks of all those old people being brought into town in handcuffs.
Sheriff Len Skerritt: You didn't tell me to make any arrests, Mr. Crabtree. I acted on by a complaint from a citizen. You.
Pierce Crabtree: What about my bulldozer? You could have held...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Roger Corman (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Frustrated Housewife
Sung by Ava Aldridge
Written by Alan Cartee and George Soule
Courtesy of MGM Records/Music Mill Productions/Fame Publishing, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Slick and engaging drive-in fare.
31 May 2012 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

Jonathan Demmes' third directorial effort for producer Roger Corman is good, solid revenge fare - manipulative, to be sure, but the manipulation is done with skill, and the characters and story are respectably entertaining.

It's a story of two opponents, both possessed of an incredible stubbornness and obsessiveness. The good guy is farmer Tom Hunter (Peter Fonda, good as always), usually an easygoing guy but who CAN be pushed too far. He's returned home to his dad Jeff (John Doucette) with his son Dylan (Gino Franco) in tow. The bad guy is arrogant fat cat Pierce Crabtree (Philip Carey), a combination land developer / strip miner who wants to get his greedy mitts on certain properties, including Jeffs'. The fat cat employs various thugs who infuriate Tom with their evil methods; Tom's cheery brother Charlie (Scott Glenn) is just one of the people victimized along the way.

As you can see, Demme directs a top notch cast in this heartfelt film. Also appearing is the delectable Lynn Lowry as Toms' girlfriend Lorene. Lowry even does a brief nude scene that's highly appreciated. Noble Willingham plays the mildly crooked senator in league with Crabtree, and Ted Markland the angry local farmer Hal Fraser.

One thing is for sure: Demme does a fine job of working on our emotions and getting us to despise the villains and hope they get what's coming to them. The film also stresses the effect that Toms' relentlessness is having on Lorene and Jeff and doesn't portray him in a completely one dimensional manner. And while Crabtree may be an unsubtle villain, not all the supporting characters are stereotypes. Willinghams' senator is really not such a bad guy, and things are kept ambiguous as to whether Sheriff Len Skerritt (Demme regular Harry Northup) is also in Crabtrees' pocket.

By the time "Fighting Mad" has reached its climax, we're all primed and ready for the inevitable bloodbath. It's exciting at times, harrowing during the scene of the burning barn, and nicely realized in one major set piece halfway through as Tom commits a night time act of sabotage; it's done as a crane shot. Bruce Langhornes' music, beautiful throughout, is especially effective during this sequence. The cinematography by Michael Watkins likewise impresses.

The acting is solid all the way down the line, with Glenn immensely likable in his brief time on screen. All in all, this is good entertainment of its type, and well worth checking out for fans of the director and cast.

Eight out of 10.


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