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Cold Turkey (1971)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 19 February 1971 (USA)
Hoping for positive publicity, a tobacco company offers $25 million to any American town that quits smoking for 30 days. Amidst a media frenzy, Eagle Rock, Iowa accepts the challenge while the company's PR man tries to sabotage the effort.

Director:

Norman Lear

Writers:

Norman Lear (screen story by), William Price Fox (screen story by) (as William Price Fox Jr.) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dick Van Dyke ... Rev. Clayton Brooks
Pippa Scott ... Natalie Brooks
Tom Poston ... Mr. Stopworth
Edward Everett Horton ... Hiram C. Grayson
Bob Elliott ... Hugh Upson / David Chetley / Sandy Van Andy (as Bob)
Ray Goulding ... Walter Chronic / Paul Hardly / Arthur Lordly (as Ray)
Vincent Gardenia ... Mayor Quincey L. Wappler
Barnard Hughes ... Dr. Proctor
Graham Jarvis ... Amos Bush
Jean Stapleton ... Mrs. Wappler
Barbara Cason ... Letitia Hornsby
Judith Lowry ... Odie Turman
Sudie Bond ... Cissy
Helen Page Camp Helen Page Camp ... Mrs. Watson
Paul Benedict ... Zen Buddhist
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Storyline

Reverend Brooks leads the town in a contest to stop smoking for a month, But some tobacco executives don't want them to win, and try everything they can to make them smoke. If townspeople don't go nuts from wanting a cigarette, or kill each other from irritation and frustration, they will win a huge prize. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What happens when an evil tobacco company offers $25,000,000 to an entire town to stop smoking for thirty days? What happens when 4,006 heavy smokers from Eagle Rock, Iowa take up the challenge? See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for smoking content throughout and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 February 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der 25 Millionen Dollar Preis See more »

Filming Locations:

Des Moines, Iowa, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tandem Productions, DFI See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the opening scene where Merwin Wren is talking to Hiram C. Grayson, a banjo can be heard playing Elmer Bernstein's theme music from The Magnificent Seven (1960). The tune was known for its use in television commercials for Marlboro cigarettes in the 1960s. See more »

Goofs

When the helicopter drops the cigarettes on the town, you see the same helicopter drop three loads. There is no way the pilot could have set down and reloaded twice so fast. If you look at the bottom of the helicopter you will notice it has the same "N" number in all three drops. See more »

Quotes

Odie Turman: It's all a big bull...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Hard (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Our God, Our Help in Ages Past
(uncredited)
Words by Isaac Watts (1719)
Music by William Croft (1708)
Sung by the church choir
See more »

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User Reviews

Very Funny Ride!
14 June 2000 | by Joe Mama-2See all my reviews

Cold Turkey is a sleeper hit that is well worth a watch, especially in this era of anti-tobacco hysteria. The cast list may seem second-rate, but that's part of the pleasure -- seeing some big-names-to-be for the 70s and 80s in this early 70s picture delivering solid performances that will keep you laughing.

Cold Turkey takes a humerous look at the addage "Be careful what you ask for...", especially as we see the ending shots of the film. Good natured Van Dyke fits his preacher's garb perfectly, throwing a curve as he makes a bold move of empathy with his fellow townspeople. The ever-cunning Newhart is in his best form ever, and Tom Poston's few lines are enough to keep you laughing for days.

Overall we see two sides of human nature: 1, when people try to stop smoking for 30 days... and how their relationships degrade; and 2, when big media comes to small town America (complete with Brinkley and Concrite knockoffs) and the impact on rural life (and strife, given the circumstances) -- especially in church services.

This is a must rental, a pilgrimage should be made to Eagle Rock every five years or so. It is a fun film, funny, unpredictable and surprisingly relevant. It's amazing to look back and see how much has changed and yet how much has not.

SHOULD'VE BEEN IN AFI'S TOP 100 COMEDY MOVIES!!!


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