Movies for the Year of the Rooster

The year of the Fire Chicken begins on 28 January 2017 and ends on 15 February 2018. Once upon a time, hens and roosters played an important part in daily life. The rooster crowed the world awake and hens provided the family with cheap protein. The Year of the Fire Chicken is one of major public events and celebrations.

Fire is one of five elements in Chinese astrology (wood, fire, earth, metal and water). The Year of the Fire Chicken is a time for challenges and practical solutions, a time of change, energy, order and strategic planning. There’s a sense of chaos.

People born in that year believe in fidelity and punctuality. They are independent, warm-hearted but can also be impatient, selfish and narrow-minded.

In general, the Year of the Chicken is a good time for people born in the Year of the Chicken, Dragon, Horse and Pig. The chicken is the tenth animal in the 12-year cycle and will be followed by the Year of the Dog.

People born in the Year of the Chicken include:

  • Ai Weiwei (1957)
  • Akira Takarada (1934)
  • Alan Bates (1934-2003)
  • Alan Hale, Jr. (1921-1960)
  • Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
  • Barbara Hutton (1921-2007)
  • Barry Bostwick (1945)
  • Bernie Mac (1957-2008)
  • Bette Midler (1945)
  • Betty White (1922)
  • Bob Denver (1935)
  • Brian Keith (1921-1997)
  • Brigitte Bardot (1934)
  • Burt Ward (1945)
  • Cameron Crowe (1957)
  • Carl Anderson (1945-2004)
  • Carl Sagan (1934-1996)
  • Carly Simon (1945)
  • Cate Blanchett (1969)
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones (1969)
  • Charles Bronson (1921-2003)
  • Chris Evans (1981)
  • Christian Slater (1969)
  • Christopher Lambert (1957)
  • Chuck Connors (1921-1992)
  • Dan Castellaneta (1957)
  • Daniel Day-Lewis (1957)
  • David Boreanaz (1969)
  • Davy Jones (1945-2012)
  • Debbie Harry (1945)
  • Deborah Kerr (1921-2007)
  • Diane Keaton (1946)
  • Diane Sawyer (1945)
  • Dirk Benedict (1945)
  • Dirk Bogarde (1921-1999)
  • Dolly Parton (1946)
  • Donny Osmond (1957)
  • Dwayne Hickman (1934)
  • Edward Norton (1969)
  • Elijah Wood (1981)
  • Ellen DeGeneres (1958)
  • Ellen Pompeo (1969)
  • Esther Williams (1921-2013)
  • Ethan Coen (1957)
  • Fran Drescher (1957)
  • Frances McDormand (1957)
  • Frankie Valli (1934)
  • Gary Owens (1934-2015)
  • Gene Siskel (1945-1999)
  • George Segal (1934)
  • Gerard Butler (1969)
  • Gloria Steinem (1934)
  • Goldie Hawn (1945)
  • Gordon MacRae (1921-1986)
  • Hank Aaron (1934)
  • Hans Zimmer (1957)
  • Heather Graham (1970)
  • Henry Winkler (1945)
  • Jack Black (1969)
  • James Drury (1934)
  • James Whitmore (1921-2009)
  • Jamie Farr (1934)
  • Jane Goodall (1934)
  • Jane Russell (1921-2011)
  • Javier Bardem (1969)
  • Jennifer Lopez (1969)
  • Jessica Alba (1981)
  • Joanna Cassidy (1945)
  • John Heard (1945)
  • John Lithgow (1945)
  • John Turturro (1957)
  • Jon Lovitz (1957)
  • Josh Gad (1981)
  • Josh Groban (1981)
  • Joyce Van Patten (1934)
  • Judge Reinhold (1957)
  • Judi Dench (1934)
  • Julia Stiles (1981)
  • Julian Sands (1958)
  • Julie Delpy (1969)
  • Justin Timberlake (1981)
  • Kelly McGillis (1957)
  • Lana Turner (1921-1995)
  • Leeza Gibbons (1957)
  • Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)
  • LeVar Burton (1957)
  • Louis Jourdan (1921-2015)
  • Louise Fletcher (1934)
  • Maggie Smith (1934)
  • Mark Rydell (1934)
  • Marty Feldman (1934-1982)
  • Matthew McConaughey (1969)
  • Melanie Griffith (1957)
  • Melba Moore (1945)
  • Michael Nouri (1945)
  • Minnie Driver (1970)
  • Monty Hall (1921)
  • Nancy Davis Reagan (1921-2016)
  • Pat Boone (1934)
  • Paul Scofield (1922-2008)
  • Peter Ustinov (1921-2004)
  • Priscilla Presley (1945)
  • Rachel Hunter (1969)
  • Rachel Ward (1957)
  • Ralph Nader (1934)
  • Ray Romano (1957)
  • Ray Winstone (1957)
  • Renee Zellweger (1969)
  • Richard Chamberlain (1934)
  • Richard Hatch (1945)
  • Robert Sean Leonard (1969)
  • Rodney Dangerfield (1921-2004)
  • Ron Glass (1945-2016)
  • Russ Tamblyn (1934)
  • Shirley Jones (1934)
  • Shirley MacLaine (1934)
  • Shonda Rhimes (1970)
  • Simone Signoret (1921-1985)
  • Skeet Ulrich (1970)
  • Sophia Loren (1934)
  • Spike Lee (1957)
  • Stacy Peralta (1957)
  • Stephen Fry (1957)
  • Steve Allen (1921-2000)
  • Steve Martin (1945)
  • Sugar Ray Robinson (1921-1989)
  • Summer Glau (1981)
  • Sydney Pollack (1934-2008)
  • Tammy Grimes (1934-2016)
  • Ted Levine (1957)
  • Telly Savalas (1922-1994)
  • Terrence Howard (1969)
  • Tina Louise (1934)
  • Tom Hiddleston (1981)
  • Tony Dow (1945)
  • Tracey Gold (1969)
  • Tsai Ming-liang (1957)
  • Tyler Perry 91969)
  • Van Williams (1934)
  • Vanna White (1957)
  • Victor French (1934-1989)
  • Warwick Davis (1970)
  • Wes Anderson (1969)
  • Wim Wenders (1945)
  • Yujiro Ishihara (1934-1987)
  • Yuki Shimoda (1921-1981)
  • Yuri Gargarin (1934-1968)
  • Yves Montand (1921-1991)

While our current presidential affairs may not be anything you want to crow about, this year we made chicken soup for the soul, so what movies do you suggest for the Year of the Chicken/Rooster (雞)?

 Of course, there’s the 2000 Nick Park and Peter Lord directed “Chicken Run.” In the Ang Lee’s 1994 “Eat Drink Man Woman” I’m pretty sure some chicken or other bird ended up on the tables.
For those who love words and animals, a group of ravens is a congress (or unkindness) while owls would be a parliament.  Mockingbirds would be an echo. Chickens are a peep.
That makes me think of “The Music Man” and “Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little.”
Got some chicken movie for the soul or soulless?
Stephen Chow’s THE MERMAID has an amusing conversation about one character’s love for chicken which, I’ve been by Cantonese speakers, doubles as a series of jokes about oral sex.
THE MERMAID is rated R and available to stream on ($9.99 SD). According to Wikipedia it was inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen tale (but this is likely no Disney princess).
We all seriously need to have a conversation about THE MERMAID. After all these years, I’m still Stephen Chow can make me go, “What the hell was that about?”
Anyway, what about DYNAMITE CHICKEN?
The 1971 DYNAMITE CHICKEN is free with Amazon Prime.  I might have to watch these tomorrow night…
THE MERMAID made my top 10 list, but until Odie and Simon mentioned it, I was convinced that no other critics had seen it. Were there even any press screenings?
There were no press screenings or screeners, as I wrote in my review. Several Sony employees didn’t even know they were distributing it.
This for a movie that grossed $200 million in Asia!
This is a conversation most fowl.
I don’t suppose cornish hen counts. That rules out ERASERHEAD. But the first image that popped into my mind was the giant chicken (at least I think it was a chicken) that chased Gary Merrill around the MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.  And in typing that last sentence, I heard Groucho’s retort from THE COCOANUTS: “You try to cross over there a-chicken and you’ll find out why a duck?”
In Japanese, Cornish hens definitely count: コーンウォール鶏.

THE EGG AND I from 1947, with Fred MacMurray as a city dude who yearns for the country life on a hen farm and Claudette Colbert as his less-than-keen wife. Like Green Acres but with more wit. Ma and Pa Kettle and their large brood are their earthy neighbors. Loved this movie when I was a kid.

Also this cartoon from my youth: Super Chicken, from the makers of Rocky and Bullwinkle.  This is the opening complete with theme song:

Also the singing chickens from The Muppet Show:


This is not movie-related, but remember that episode of FRIENDS where Chandler & Monica were in the tub and Joey asked them if they wanted to order fried chicken? I still have a hard time believing any of those people have ever eaten anything fried!


Scratching around even more, Woody Allen leads a giant chicken around in SLEEPER, Charlie Sheen shoots a chicken instead of an arrow in HOT SHOTS! And Sly trains with a chicken in Rocky II – which leads  him to cluck, “I feel like a Kentucky Fried idiot.”


Has anyone ever seen that made-for-Comedy Central movie, PORN ‘N CHICKEN?


Also, the end of FREAKS with the bad lady turned into a mutant piece of poultry-tude.


Foghorn Leghorn in the old Warners cartoons, inspired by Senator Claghorn on the Fred Allen radio show.  I actually liked the Disney CHICKEN LITTLE movie, except for the very retro (even for Disney) retro gender stereotypes. And CHICKEN WITH PLUMS (Marjane Satrapi) and the TV movie THE HOBOKEN CHICKEN EMERGENCY.


Just this past year came a demented movie starring Mads Mikkelsen called MEN & CHICKEN, which I reviewed for Ebert. It was filled with birds of all kinds – there is one bizarre scene involving a swan – but it’s mostly chickens. Chickens everywhere!

MEN & CHICKEN is available on Amazon Prime. I guess I’m adding that to my list.
I used to love Foghorn Leghorn! And that Chicken Hawk.
CHICKEN LITTLE (Disney) and CHICKEN WITH PLUMS are  $2.99 each on Amazon.
Sorry, all I’ve got is Giulio Questi’s mutant-chicken giallo/capitalism satire “DEATH LAID AN EGG” (1968) which is without legitimate options for US viewing…

Seth Rogan’s character in Sarah Polley’s “TAKE THIS WALTZ” is writing another cookbook about the many ways to cook chicken. It’s his specialty.


A few films come to mind for me.

Firstly, GOLDEN CHICKEN, a Hong Kong-based movie about a prostitute who shares her life story. It’s almost like Forrest Gump, but in Hong Kong, and with a prostitute. The sequel GOLDEN CHICKEN 2 has a scene that takes place during the SARS outbreak. There was also a GOLDEN CHICKEN 3 (or “Golden Chickensss”). I never saw that one, but it co-stars Donnie Yen, aka Ip Man, aka Chirrut Îmwe.
Also, there’s the scene in LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE, where Tita makes quail in rose sauce from the flowers Pedro gave her. It’s hilarious:
The only thing I got is COTTONPICKIN CHICKENPICKERS, a Hee Haw-like low budget musical that features a song Johnny Cash eventually recorded called “You Dirty Ol’ Egg Suckin’ Dog.” I saw it at a Mensa event, which proves that being a genius doesn’t mean you’re not stupid. The movie’s really dopey, but just try to get that damn song out of your head. (And the guy in the movie really sells it, too.)
It’s an acquired taste but: POULTRYGEIST is my pick.
Watching the Carrie Fisher/Debbie Reynolds doc — Todd Fisher’s wife has an emotional support chicken.  Really.
I have an emotional support chicken in cutlet form every month or so.
Nell – of course! How could I forget!  Watching her pat the feathers on that chicken’s tail – I thought, “That actually does look really relaxing.”
Don’t forget a little thing I like to call ERASERHEAD.
Sonny Tufts 4-EVAH!

Chicken” is somewhat dated gay slang for teenage boys. I can’t think of any movie titles using it that way, but surely there’s a movie title using “chicks” to refer to teenage girls or young women.

This first thing that comes to mind is :WHITE CHICKS….

From Andrei Kochalovsky’s, the man who gave you “Tango & Cash”, comes “Kurka Ryaba” (1994), a post-Soviet era comedy of a golden egg-laying chicken in a dismantled ‘kolchoz’ (a state-own farm) that is as hilarious as difficult to track down. It’s worth trying, though:

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