Synopsis: Frank Mansfield has wanted to win the Cockfighter of the Year medal for ages. Frank never speaks. After shooting his mouth off one too many times then losing a champion rooster in a casual hotel room cockfight, he swore never to speak again until he's won that award... He makes a bet with old crony Jack to be settled at the upcoming meet. Frank puts his car and his trailer on the line; he loses. Jack gets the trailer, and Frank's part-time girlfriend who goes with it. Frank's long-time girlfriend Mary Elizabeth wants him to get serious and settle down. But Frank has to raise some money for a new cock - $500 - then he can form a partnership with fellow cocksman Omar Baradansky and make another try for that medal...
83 min


I learned to fly a plane.

I lost interest in it.

Water skiiing.

I lost interest in it.

But, uh, this is something

you don't conquer.

Anything that can

fight to the death

And not utter a sound, well.

The person that puts the

most and works the hardest

Is supposed to win.

And usually that's

the way it comes out.

The drive in it

is to be the best.

We call it sharpness.

When you can hit that peak.

When that bird is at his

best, then he'll win for you,

Because you make your luck.

I can pick out the best

bird by his conformation,

His bone structure.

But I can't look into his heart

and tell you how game he is.

You know what you said

in your sleep last night?

You said, Randy, you mother.

I'm gonna kick your sh*t

ass clear across this room.

You remember that?

Who's Randy?

You can't fool me.

If you can talk

when you're asleep,

You can talk when you're awake.

I just want you

to know I know it.

That's some mighty

Sandspur, huh.

Well, what kind of money

we talking about this hack?

What, $100?


I figured on taking you

for at least $1,000.

I'm risking my $200 ace

against you $100 bet.

Uh, I don't know.

I'll tell you what I'll do,

I'll put up another $900

Against your car and trailer.

Even money.

That's the car and

trailer plus the $100, OK?

I'll catch you later.

When I

was doing to Sandspur's bill

Wasn't exactly illegal, but I

didn't feel too proud about it.

Only wanted to boost the betting

odds by making the gamblers

Think that Sandspur's

bill was cracked.


They want this all on Sandspur.

Forget it.

You know I can't get

a four to one bet.

Cracked bill?


Now I don't know who

to bed, you or Burke.

Maybe I'll be able

to get some out.

Five pounds, two ounces, even.

You handling Jack?

No, Ralph's going to handle him.

He's about half pounds

over, you're going

To have to cut away, Frank.

Uh he can have the half pound.

He can have sh*t, you know

there's no two ounce leeway.

Official SCT hack.

What I meant was, uh, it

don't make no never mind to me.

It makes a difference

to the better, Jack.

Five two, even.

See that, Jack?

He's got a cracked beak.


Well if I'd known he

had a cracked bill

I'd give you some odds.

Who wants to call it?

Tails it is.

That's a short guess.

Set him low and outside there.

What was that?

Burke was a long gaff man,

But I preferred the short heels.

Sandspur was a cutter and all

the best would short gaffs.

I mean David was used to

long, three-inch heels.

By me winning the toss,

I'd given Sandspur

A slight advantage

over little David.

Ladies and gentleman, this is

an extra hack between Mr. Jack

Burke, Burke's Farm, Mr. Frank

Mansfield, Mansfield Farms,


The official southern conference

hack, no time limit, no draw,

Both birds with short gaffs.

Mr. Ralph Hansen will

handle for Mr. Burke.

That's enough.


Get ready.



Get ready.


That broken beak lost your

bird his pecker power, Frank.

The winner is Mr. Burke.

Well, got it all down, Frank,

yours and mine, three to one.

Great Sandspur, game but lame.

You ought to give

up this sh*t, Frank.

Well, don't look for me in

Milledgeville this year.

I was getting

ready to wash them.

I never heard of anybody so

mean they'd take a family's

Mobile home away from them.

Now, little lady, we made a bet,

You see, and we

shook hands on it.

Nobody shook my hand.

What about me,

what happens to me?

No, I don't know

about that, Frank.

I got, I got me a lady

friend up in Kissimmee.

Uh, little, little David'll meet

Any challenges, any

five two challenges

You want to show against him.

Only put your money where your

mouth is in Milledgeville.


Please take me with you.

Please Frank.

How will I staying

with old Mr. Burke?

He must be 40 years old.

I felt sorry for her in a way.

But I didn't worry about her.

She was pretty and young.

A good lay.

Hell, she'd get by anywhere.

Piss on her and the

horse she rode in on.

That's an old trick

you tried today, Frank.

I've done it myself and I've

gotten away with it, too.

The trick, you see, is not

to cut the groove too deep.

If you cut too deep,

it's liable to cost

You your car and trailer.

Two years ago, this medal

could have been in your hand.

But you had to shoot

your mouth off and lose

The bird you needed to win.

I've got the finest five

pound chicken alive, Jack.

Right here in my hands.

The very finest.

You want to know something, boy?

I am the finest trainer and

conditioner in the whole world.

And my bird here, he can beat

anything you got to show, man.



Hey listen, I'm, I'm getting

tired of listening to you

Brag, Frank, goddammit.

Why don't you put some money

where your mouth is right now.

C'mon, Frank's just talking.

Jack, it's 2 o'clock

in the morning.

No, no, no, no,

wait a minute, he's

Been doing all the god

damn bragging, let's see

A little action now, all right?

No, we're going to

find out right now, OK?

$200, flat out, no odds.

$200? $200 even, OK, give

your money to Lucille.

All right Lucille, keep

the change, sweetie.

You ready?

Do it, let's go.

OK, bill them up.

Get ready.

Hit them!

Jack wins, Frank.

Have you got another

five pound rooster you

Can use in the derby tomorrow?

It's too bad, Frank.

Now you'll have to

withdraw from the derby,

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Charles Willeford

Charles Ray Willeford III (January 2, 1919 – March 27, 1988) was an American writer. An author of fiction, poetry, autobiography, and literary criticism, Willeford is best known for his series of novels featuring hardboiled detective Hoke Moseley. Willeford published steadily from the 1940s, but vaulted to wider attention with first Hoke Moseley book, Miami Blues (1984), which is considered one of its era's most influential works of crime fiction. Film adaptations have been made of three of Willeford's novels: Cockfighter, Miami Blues, and The Woman Chaser. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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