7.4/10
5,486
36 user 92 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

Featured in These Amazing Shadows (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

I Wonder
Written by Cecil Gant (uncredited) and Raymond Leveen (uncredited)
Performed by Cecil Gant
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well worth a look
30 March 2007 | by Margie24See all my reviews

Before writing this review, I read the four comments that were already posted- by tvspace, zumlinz, seabiscuit, and bartman. Their ratings ranged from two stars to ten stars, and one reviewer here (in addition to Manhola Dargis of the NY Times) hailed it as a masterpiece.

After viewing the film this afternoon at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village, I have to say that all four reviewers have valid points about the film.

It certainly has an "amateur" feel to it, including the acting of some of the smaller roles, as one of the previous reviewers pointed out. But I found much that was beautiful about it, and saw a sort of perfection in its lack of polish- polish and formula that is so commonplace today in not only big studio pictures, but many independent films as well.

While certainly not about "nothing," it does lack a conventional narrative, as was pointed out previously as well. But it is this absence of an obvious agenda (other than to portray typical, everyday life in Watts from the point of view of one family) that allows the film to work so well as a loosely structured, poetic slice of life. It is an amazing mood piece, and it made me feel quite sad. Yet there was humor, warmth, and hope scattered throughout the generally melancholy film.

I think this is the kind of film that will effect people differently, as is already evident from the first four reviews. If you don't catch this film in the theater this time around, it will be available on DVD in the fall and is well worth watching. Nowadays it seems to be in vogue with hotshot filmmakers to recreate the specific,unique look of older films, using all sorts of advanced technology to turn back the clock. Here's a chance to see the real deal-something raw and authentic from a talented filmmaker as he emerged.


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