Heaven’s Gate Minute by Minute: 56 of 229

15 Aug

56 of 229

The chicken isn’t a chicken! It’s a cock! If there’s one thing I like more than bear baiting; it’s cockfighting. Except, as this scene demonstrates, it’s not a very civilized environment to view sport. Spectators yell, shout and carry on so much that it can be off-putting. Just because chickens are thrashing each other, doesn’t mean we can’t all sit and peacefully enjoy the spectacle. It’s difficult to admire the skill when unwashed men are waving their weekly earnings around and generally acting loutish. That’s another thing; for me it’s not about the gambling. I never place bets when I’m at a cockfight and I do believe the sport could not only still exist, but thrive without the scourge of betting attached. Too often the sport is marred by match-fixing and betting scandals, when cockfighting should be about the birds!

The athletes don’t receive the recognition they deserve because their performances are overshadowed by impropriety. Lord Clucksworth, HR Featherweight and Tom ‘I Kill Other Birds With Razor Blades” Wilson were the birds I admired growing up and they would have been household names were it not for organised crime bringing the sport of cockfighting into disrepute.

Evidently this scene has nothing to do with anything because before the minute’s end we are whisked away from the ring to James on a wagon. A caption reads, “Sweetwater, Johnson County”. I’m guessing the cockfight was just a well-disguised ad for a local league, thrown in to help the film recoup costs.

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