7.4/10
5,100
37 user 90 critic

Killer of Sheep (1978)

Set in the Watts area of Los Angeles, a slaughterhouse worker must suspend his emotions to continue working at a job he finds repugnant, and then he finds he has little sensitivity for the family he works so hard to support.

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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Stan (as Henry Gayle Sanders)
... Stan's Wife
Charles Bracy ... Bracy
... Stan's Daughter
Eugene Cherry ... Eugene
... Stan's Son
Slim
Delores Farley
Dorothy Stengel
Tobar Mayo
Chris Terrill
Lawrence Pierott
Russell Miles
Homer Jai
Johnny Smoke
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Storyline

Stan works in drudgery at a slaughterhouse. His personal life is drab. Dissatisfaction and ennui keep him unresponsive to the needs of his adoring wife, and he must struggle against influences which would dishonor and endanger him and his family. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

14 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Matador de ovejas  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,728, 6 April 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$404,508

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$456,459
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

After Stan and his friend load the engine block on the truck, they drive away and it falls out, and a car is then seen parked along the curb. The car was not there when they carried the engine out. See more »

Quotes

Man: [first lines]
Man: [to his older son] You let anyone jump on your brother again, and you just stand and watch - boy, I'll beat you to death! I don't care who started what, or whether he was winnin' or losin'; well, you get a thick oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, a goddam brick, get *anything*, and you knock the shit out of whoever fightin' your brother! 'Cause if anything was to happen to me or your mother, you ain't got nobody except your brother. And this goes for him, too - and he knows! You're the one that keep ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Afro American Symphony
Written by William Grant Still
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User Reviews

 
Remarkable independent portrayal of Black urban life...
11 April 2000 | by See all my reviews

Somewhat reactionary to the black exploitation films that usually define the Black cinema experience in the 70's, Killer of Sheep presents a realistic portrait of a Black urban L.A. community. Burnett's method of telling a story, using the camera in the most unobtrusive manner, enlivens the film and draws the viewer into a world not frequently seen on film. Stan, the depressed insomniac lower middle-class worker struggles to provide for his family, love his wife and maintain responsibility to his community while haunted by the historical futility and impotence of the African American male. In Killer of Sheep, Burnett aptly demonstrates his knowledge of the cinema aesthetic and his proficiency with the camera while telling a most compelling story about the Black experience in America.


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