Cold Turkey (1971)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Cold Turkey Photos

Movie Info

This comedy is notable as the final onscreen appearance (non-speaking) of Edward Everett Horton, a staple comic supporting actor from the early '30s onward. Dick Van Dyke plays an ambitious small-town minister who rallies the whole town to meet a challenge bet by a tobacco corporation. Cooked up by the tobacco company's public relations head (Bob Newhart), the bet is an offer to pay twenty five million dollars ($25,000,000.00) to any town that can quit smoking for the required period of time. Barnard Hughes is Dr. Proctor, a heart surgeon who has to be physically restrained to prevent him from smoking. Jean Stapleton is the mayor's wife, who swells visibly as her eating replaces cigarettes. Edward Everett Horton is eloquent as the mysterious tobacco tycoon who comes to observe the chaos first-hand. There is lots of frantic action as the townsfolk try to win the prize, and the tobacco company (which has no intention of paying off the bet) works to sabotage their efforts. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi
Directed By:
In Theaters:
United Artists

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Dick Van Dyke
as Rev. Clayton Brooks
Bob Newhart
as Merwin Wren
Pippa Scott
as Natalie Brooks
Tom Poston
as Mr. Stopworth
Edward Everett Horton
as Hiram C. Grayson
Vincent Gardenia
as Mayor Wrappler
Barnard Hughes
as Dr. Procter
Graham Jarvis
as Amos Bush
Jean Stapleton
as Mrs. Wrappler
Barbara Cason
as Letitia
Sudie Bond
as Cissy
Helen Page Camp
as Mrs. Watson
Paul Benedict
as Zen Buddhist
Simon Scott
as Mr. Kandiss
Raymond Kark
as Homer Watson
Peggy Rea
as Mrs. Proctor
George Mann
as Bishop Manley
Charles Pinney
as Col. Galloway
Gloria Le Roy
as The Hooker
Eric Boles
as Dennis
Jack Grimes
as TV Stage Manager
Walter Sande
as Tobacco Executive
Woodrow Parfrey
as Tobacco Executive
Harvey Jason
as Hypnotist
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Critic Reviews for Cold Turkey

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (4)

An extended sitcom loaded with the kind of jokes that induce canned laughter.

Full Review… | March 23, 2015
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Irritation mounts as tiresome running gags run the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal into the ground.

June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It is, within its limitations, a very engaging, very funny movie. The Saran is still there, but it is wrapped around a lot of typical, nasty humor and old-fashioned, clean-cut vulgarity.

Full Review… | May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Even if you don't smoke, you'll find Cold Turkey funny.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Unfortunately, none of it seems to matter to any of them after the initial shock of having their dirty laundry aired.

Full Review… | June 21, 2016
The Film Stage

The film marked the directing debut of Norman Lear and very much reflects the time in which it was made.

Full Review… | March 23, 2015
Radio Times

Audience Reviews for Cold Turkey


Between a 6/10 and 7/10, "Cold Turkey" is not terribly significant satire. It was made-after all-to amuse the very people it is satirizing, but it does this with a hustling, commercial vitality.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

I loved the hard edge on this film, definitely not a friendly film. A good ol' "fuck you" to corporations, politics and small town America.

Jenna Ipcar
Jenna Ipcar

Irreverent, cynical and hysterical social satire of small town 'Murica. It's shocking to see that this film is virtually forgotten.

Eduardo Litsinger
Eduardo Litsinger

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