Michael Chong keeps an eye peeled for any online mention of Willeford, and reports in that “The Boss has good taste!”
Yes, Cockfighter makes the short list of Springsteen’s fave movies — or, maybe the dude is just another one of us Warren Oates fans.
“A canny combination of other Springsteen obsessions, the film (also known as Born to Kill) is yet another Monte Hellman picture starring Warren Oates that chronicles American anti-heroes. As the titular fighter, Oates is joined by Harry Dean Stanton in a loose adaptation of Charles Willeford’s novel of the same name (the author also wrote the script, and made a number of changes on his own accord), and follows Oates’ mute Frank Mansfield as he endeavors to become Cockfighter of the Year. The film was a box office bust, and even when producer Roger Corman had it recut (and re-titled), it failed to generate much money. Springsteen, however, still loves it. It’s easy to see why: The grizzled anti-heroes of mid-’70s cinema seem pulled from Springsteen’s own songs, lovable losers with nothing left to lose.”