The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)

R | 87 mins | Comedy | 10 August 1977

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HISTORY

       According to a 28 July 1977 LAT article, Kentucky Fried Movie developed from a sketch comedy group formed in Madison, WI, in 1971. Led by writers-actors David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, and Jim Abrahams, the troupe subsequently had a four-year stage run as “The Kentucky Fried Theater” at a rented warehouse in West Los Angeles, CA.
       The film features a series of short sketches presented as parodies of television programs, commercials, movie trailers and a feature film. “Courtroom,” a satire of 1950s trial dramas, is in black-and-white.
       A 6 Jul 1977 DV article reported that the Zucker brothers and Abrahams raised $35,000 to shoot a promotional short that they screened for United Artists Theatres, which ultimately financed the production but is not credited onscreen. The LAT article noted that executive producer Kim Jorgensen, president of the Parallax Theaters chain, joined the team after seeing the short, and recruited independent investors. A 3 Aug 1977 Var news item stated that principal photography lasted twenty-eight days with an approximate budget of $1 million. The 10 Aug 1977 LAHExam review noted location work occurred over twenty-five days, primarily on an estate in Pasadena, CA.
       A 28 June 1977 news item reported that Kentucky Fried Movie marked the first film released by the United Film Distribution Company.
       The LAHExam review characterized the film as “technically sophisticated, continually surprising, even in its minor lapses, and refreshingly funny almost all the time.”
      End credits include the following written statements: “Special Thanks To Rick Baker, Stephen Bishop, Bill Bixby, Henry Gibson and Donald Sutherland,” and “The producers also acknowledge ... More Less

       According to a 28 July 1977 LAT article, Kentucky Fried Movie developed from a sketch comedy group formed in Madison, WI, in 1971. Led by writers-actors David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, and Jim Abrahams, the troupe subsequently had a four-year stage run as “The Kentucky Fried Theater” at a rented warehouse in West Los Angeles, CA.
       The film features a series of short sketches presented as parodies of television programs, commercials, movie trailers and a feature film. “Courtroom,” a satire of 1950s trial dramas, is in black-and-white.
       A 6 Jul 1977 DV article reported that the Zucker brothers and Abrahams raised $35,000 to shoot a promotional short that they screened for United Artists Theatres, which ultimately financed the production but is not credited onscreen. The LAT article noted that executive producer Kim Jorgensen, president of the Parallax Theaters chain, joined the team after seeing the short, and recruited independent investors. A 3 Aug 1977 Var news item stated that principal photography lasted twenty-eight days with an approximate budget of $1 million. The 10 Aug 1977 LAHExam review noted location work occurred over twenty-five days, primarily on an estate in Pasadena, CA.
       A 28 June 1977 news item reported that Kentucky Fried Movie marked the first film released by the United Film Distribution Company.
       The LAHExam review characterized the film as “technically sophisticated, continually surprising, even in its minor lapses, and refreshingly funny almost all the time.”
      End credits include the following written statements: “Special Thanks To Rick Baker, Stephen Bishop, Bill Bixby, Henry Gibson and Donald Sutherland,” and “The producers also acknowledge the following for their participation in the making of this film: Tae Kwan Do Martial Arts: Master Bong Soo Han Hapkido School, Chong Jhun School, Chong Lee School, Dong Lim School, Pugil School and the Arcadia School of Self-Defense, the Dovie Dena House and Mr. Rich Markey.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
15 Aug 1977.
---
Cue
20 Aug 1977.
---
Daily Variety
27 Dec 1976
p. 3.
Daily Variety
6 Jul 1977
p. 7.
Films and Filming
Feb 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Aug 1977
p. 3.
LAHExam
10 Aug 1977.
---
Los Angeles Times
29 Jul 1977
Section IV, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
11 Aug 1977
p. 18.
Motion Picture Production Digest
24 Aug 1977.
---
New York Times
11 Aug 1977
p. 5.
Time
29 Aug 1977.
---
Variety
3 Aug 1977
p. 22.
Variety
3 Aug 1977
p. 30.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT

NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Cleopatra Schwartz:
His New Car:
Household Odors:
High Adventure:
Danger Seekers:
Eyewitness News:
Scot Free:
Nytex P.M.:
Feel-A-Round:
That's Armageddon:
United Appeal for the Dead:
Headache Clinic:
Catholic High School Girls in Trouble:
Courtroom:
Fixative:
Willer Beer:
Nesson Oil:
Sex Record:
Zinc Oxide:
A Fistful of Yen:
Voice Overs:
[and]
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Kentucky Fried Theater production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Asst dir
2d asst dir
3d asst dir
WRITERS
The Kentucky Fried Theater:
Wrt
[and]
Wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Gaffer
Key grip
Grip
Asst cam
Asst cam
Still photog
Video lighting dir
Video tech dir
Video controller
Video cam
Video cam
Ten Minute presentation
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Graphics
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Negative cutting
Ten minute presentation
Ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Props
Props
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus coord
SOUND
Asst sd
Sd eff ed
Audio tech
Re-rec
Re-rec
Re-rec facilities
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles & opt eff by
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod coord
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Scr supv
Transportation
Transportation
Casting
Prod accounting
Video post-prod by
STAND INS
Martial arts coord
Martial arts coord
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
DETAILS
Release Date:
10 August 1977
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 10 August 1977
Production Date:
began early 1977 in Pasadena, CA
Copyright Claimant:
Taurus Entertainment
Copyright Date:
10 August 1977
Copyright Number:
PA51503
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
87
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

A television newscaster informs the audience that their popcorn has been urinated in. Next, a spokesman for the petroleum company Argon explains how the company is tapping alternative sources of producing oil, including siphoning the faces of America’s teenagers, absorbing the residue from the discarded combs of Italian people, and draining the runoff from fast food. The “A.M. Today” show features news, a conservative/liberal debate, an astrologist, a wild animal expert, and a rampaging gorilla. In a commercial, a man is reminded to zip his zipper by his car alarm. A movie trailer for Catholic High School Girls in Trouble chronicles adolescent sexual misadventures. A man enters a movie theater to watch See You Next Wednesday in Feel-A-Round. During the film, an usher gropes and abuses the man in sync with the action onscreen. In a commercial for Nytex P.M., a man has difficulty waking up in the morning after taking the medicine. On the program “High Adventure,” host Paul Burmaster interviews adventurer Claude Lemon. Next, actor-director Bill Bixby endorses Sanhedrin headache medicine and visits a clinic. A woman endures rude comments by members of her bridge club over lingering household odors. A couple listens to “Joy of Sex,” a how-to record, as they prepare to make love. Former National Football League player Big Jim Slade breaks through a wall to assist them. The feature attraction, A Fistful of Yen, begins with British intelligence agents recruiting Loo, a martial arts teacher, for an important mission. Loo infiltrates the mountain fortress of criminal mastermind Dr. Klahn, ... +


A television newscaster informs the audience that their popcorn has been urinated in. Next, a spokesman for the petroleum company Argon explains how the company is tapping alternative sources of producing oil, including siphoning the faces of America’s teenagers, absorbing the residue from the discarded combs of Italian people, and draining the runoff from fast food. The “A.M. Today” show features news, a conservative/liberal debate, an astrologist, a wild animal expert, and a rampaging gorilla. In a commercial, a man is reminded to zip his zipper by his car alarm. A movie trailer for Catholic High School Girls in Trouble chronicles adolescent sexual misadventures. A man enters a movie theater to watch See You Next Wednesday in Feel-A-Round. During the film, an usher gropes and abuses the man in sync with the action onscreen. In a commercial for Nytex P.M., a man has difficulty waking up in the morning after taking the medicine. On the program “High Adventure,” host Paul Burmaster interviews adventurer Claude Lemon. Next, actor-director Bill Bixby endorses Sanhedrin headache medicine and visits a clinic. A woman endures rude comments by members of her bridge club over lingering household odors. A couple listens to “Joy of Sex,” a how-to record, as they prepare to make love. Former National Football League player Big Jim Slade breaks through a wall to assist them. The feature attraction, A Fistful of Yen, begins with British intelligence agents recruiting Loo, a martial arts teacher, for an important mission. Loo infiltrates the mountain fortress of criminal mastermind Dr. Klahn, who is assembling a fighting force of extraordinary magnitude. After being discovered, Loo fights a large army, and with the help of Big Jim Slade, he defeats Klahn. Loo clicks his heels together three times and returns home to Kansas, where he awakens surrounded by familiar faces. In a commercial, a group of Hare Ramas, the shaved-head followers of an Eastern religious organization, celebrate “Willer” time by drinking beer at their local bar after a tough day of handing out leaflets. The newscaster announces that earthquakes have rocked Los Angeles, California, and promises film at eleven. Next, a family plays the board game “Scott Free,” in which players attempt to avoid prosecution for the assassination of John F. Kennedy. A movie trailer for That’s Armageddon features a governor dealing with the aftermath of a large disaster. Actor Henry Gibson appears in a public service announcement for the United Appeal for the Dead, an organization dedicated to helping the living deal with their deceased loved ones. A courtroom drama recreates a trial set in 1957, and includes the testimony of a dead witness. In a commercial for “Nesson Oil,” a little girl fries her cat. An African American woman and an Hasidic Jew form a crime-fighting duo in the movie trailer for Cleopatra Schwartz. An educational film touts the wonders of zinc oxide and the chaos that would ensue without it. The television program “Danger Seekers” profiles daredevil Rex Kramer. A newscaster and his crew lose their composure as a couple watching at home becomes increasingly amorous. The “Eleven O’Clock” news broadcaster announces he is not wearing pants. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.