7.4/10
5,186
37 user 91 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.

Director:

Charles Burnett

Writer:

Charles Burnett

On Disc

at Amazon

3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 November 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Matador de ovejas See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Life Itself (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

My Curly Headed Baby
Written by G.H. Clutsam (uncredited)
Performed by Paul Robeson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
memory lane
23 May 2007 | by central_texSee all my reviews

I couldn't wait to see this movie when it came to town. I only read about it in magazines. I've never knowingly seen a movie before that has been declared a national treasury by the national film registry.

The first thing that stood out for me is the way the kids were playing. I pictured myself playing those games and wearing those clothes. The editing of the film is nothing like what happens in todays movies. Our attention span is much too short. There is a scene where two men are carrying an engine down a flight of stairs and into the back of a truck. The camera holds while the men struggle to carry it, pausing in mid-flight for a rest and then continuing on. This film is very real in the sense of how the neighborhoods looked back then and the struggles with money and staying on your feet. Even though I am not from the area, this film reminded me in some ways of how I grew up. I wasn't born yet when this film was in production.

My expectations were set very high for this film because of its previous awards. I started to wonder why it was selected for the national film registry. Possibly because it showed what the area looked like in the post-watts riot era, or was it a film that was created in the blaxploitation era but set itself apart from other films, or did it have to do with watching how kids grow up or how African-Americans were living at the time. I could be unfairly trying to compare this film with the movies that are block busters in our current time. Make sure you see this film.


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