Deep in the heart of the South, Oates’s obsessive gambling man takes a vow of silence after losing everything in a high-stakes cockfighting match, refusing to speak until he has redeemed himself as champion of the illicit blood sport. Adapted by hard-boiled writer Charles Willeford from his own novel and strikingly shot on location in Georgia by the great Nestor Almendros (Days of Heaven), Monte Hellman’s existential plunge into the subterranean world of cockfighting is intense, bloody, and weirdly beautiful, while Oates—without uttering a word for much of the film—gives one of his very best performances.

Please note: The print we will be screening is in poor condition.