(aka "Born to Kill" or "Gamblin' Man" or "Wild Drifter")

 

directed by Monte Hellman
USA 1974

 

Had Monte Hellman's Two-Lane Blacktop received the attention it deserved upon its 1971 release, creating a tagline for his 1974 film Cockfighter would have been simple: "It's Two-Lane Blacktop with cockfighting!" Just as Blacktop offered total immersion in the subculture of illegal hot-rodding, the recently reissued Cockfighter—which, like Blacktop, was kept out of circulation for years—does the same for the unpleasant, widely illegal sport of its title. But Hellman chooses to overlook the familiarity of his themes, producing a film every bit as committed to its dangerous corner of the world as its predecessor. In one of the best performances of his career, Warren Oates plays a seasoned cockfighter who, because unwise words once cost him a chance at a championship, has taken a vow of silence until he can correct the mistake. After apparently bottoming out following a devastating loss to friendly rival Harry Dean Stanton in the opening sequence, Oates renews ties with an old lover (Patricia Pearcy) who has kept herself removed from the sport, then begins to rebuild his cockfighting career. The plot never thickens much beyond that, but it never needs to. Oates' portrayal of a backwater existential hero slowly reveals a state of mind in which money, houses, and (most) women are valuable only as stakes in his game. Beautifully shot by NÚstor Almendros and unmistakably filmed on location using real participants in the cockfighting underground, Hellman's not-always-simulated fight scenes will make the film rough going for anyone who likes animals, but it's tough to deny Cockfighter's effectiveness.


Excerpt from Keith Phipps' review at The Onion A.V. Club located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: USA - August 1974

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Catcom - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Ole Kofoed for all the Screen Caps!

(Catcom - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Catcom

Region 0 - NTSC

Anchor Bay
Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:23:27 1:23:24
Video

1.77:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.80 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.77:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.15 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Catcom

 

Bitrate:

 

Anchor Bay

 

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles None. None.
Features Release Information:
Studio: Catcom

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.77:1

Edition Details:
• Mad Dog Morgan (1976) - Fullscreen.
• Animated short - The Little Stranger (1936).
• Animated short - Bars and Stripes Forever (1939).
• Song with Dean Martin from the movie At War with the Army (1950).
• 6 old TV commercials.
• Old intermission clip.

DVD Release Date: 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 3
 

Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.77:1

Edition Details:
• Warren Oates: Across the Border (53:49).
• Commentary by Monte Hellmann & Steven Gaydos.
• Trailer (2:35).
• TV spot (0:28).
• 2 radio spots.
• Bio/filmographies of Hellman, Oates & Charles Willeford.

 

DVD Release Date: January 30, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 25

 

 

 

 

Comments The Anchor Bay screenshots is scaled down from 960X540 while Catcom is the original size.

Catcom has used the same idea as seen seen on Elite's "Drive-In Discs" and Warner's "Night at the Movies" - so when you play the DVD it starts with Cockfighter then a short, 3 commercials, Dean Martin, intermission, Mad Dog Morgan and so forth. Unfortunately, although all the prints are in mediocre shape - the
anamorphic Anchor Bay Cockfighter is the best looking and far superior to the Out-of-print Catcom edition - especially in the area of color.

Anchor Bay has strong extras including a commentary.
 

 - Ole Kofoed

 

 



DVD Menus
(
Catcom - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Catcom - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Catcom - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Catcom - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Catcom - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Catcom - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Catcom - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Catcom - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

 

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Report Card:

Image:

Anchor Bay

Sound:

Anchor Bay

Extras: Anchor Bay
Menu: Anchor Bay
DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Catcom

Region 0 - NTSC

Anchor Bay
Region 0 - NTSC

 




 

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