Frank, played by Warren Oates, is an obsessive participant in cockfights, “a player playing for the sake of the game, an idealist challenging fate even though he knows he will never win and never be able to change his destiny.” (Olaf Möller)
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En la Norteamerica mas profunda y crepúscular posible, Warren Oates y Harry Dean Stanton enfrentan a sus gallos a muerte. Cada batalla pone en juego mas cosas de las que en realidad se dicen (y eso que Oates no dice casi nada) y el honor de ambos, sin quién gane o pierda, jamas se doblega. En el medio aparecen algunas mujeres que van y vienen. No parece suceder mucho mas. ¿Otra obra maestra minimalista de Hellman? Si
What could so easily have been a tale of despicable characters and a repellant trade is transformed into a celebration of Americana via Hellman's astute direction and -above all- Oates' masterful rendition of sang-froid, silent outsiderness. It is really Oates that adds emphasis to the film's core, and very Hawksian, theme that professionalism reinforces and elevates manliness in even the seediest trades.
This is a good companion piece to Hellman's Two Lane Blacktop and also the performance of Warren Oates career. It is a damn shame that Hellman didn't get the chance to make more films and that Oates didn't play the lead more often. Every time he was the lead he knocked it out of the park. Who knew a movie about chicken fighting could be so good.
A strange look at a strange American subculture. Cockfighter isn't exactly gripping cinema, but there is something powerful and hypnotic about it. It captures a slice of life and succeeds in really making you taste the dirt and sweat of country life. Anchored by a great performance by the always great Warren Oates and some evocative visuals this is quite the unique film.
saw this on 35mm last weekend. an ambiguously beautiful and horrifying odyssey. Oates is so charismatic that it is easy to join in with the many spectators in the film and cheer. Many could watch this film and feel no remorse.
Existential cinema at it's finest. The movie's profound reflection on the American dream and masculinity, conveyed by a mute Warren Oates in what is probably his best performance, is combined with a raw insight on a sub-culture that's illegal and cruel but still popular all over America (with some more than striking images by the master Almendros), making Cockfighter the definitive American movie of the 70's.
Atop the pantheon of "great mute roles." Cockfighter never seems to try. The beauty of the lack of over thinking results in a really satisfying groove. I found it a strangely peaceful movie experience. And I'm a vegetarian.