Behold the Acting Genius of Warren Oates

With much more depth and courage than just his Western films portrayed him, Warren Oates gives some amazing performances in these four featured movies that helped raise him to movie icon level and influenced many contemporary grind-house directors like Tarantino. This week, we proudly present Warren Oates as he nails his characters in 1978’s China 9 Liberty 37; 1974’s Cockfighter; 1973’s Dillinger; and 1966’s The Shooting.

Behold the acting genius of Warren Oates.

Yours truly,
Where you’ll find Movies you love with Stars you know.

China 9/Liberty 37

China 9/Liberty 37 is the 1978 Monte Hellman western drama starring Warren Oates, Fabio Testi and Jenny Agutter where a convicted criminal befriends a miner holding out from selling his land to the railroad that he was hired to kill. He falls in love with the miner’s wife and all hell breaks loose in this western tale of deceit, infidelity, friendship and love – but most of all – redemption.


Cockfighter (also known as Born to Kill) is a 1974 action drama by director Monte Hellman, starring Warren Oates, Harry Dean Stanton and featuring Laurie Bird and Ed Begley, Jr., telling the story of a down-and-out southern cocksman who aspires to win the Cockfighter of the Year medal, and although facing a mountain of adversities, will not let go of his dream.


In this 1973 biography of crime and action, John Milius directs an all-star cast of Warren Oates, Michele Phillips, Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman, Harry Dean Stanton, Geoffrey Lewis and John P. Ryan in the tale of the infamous American outlaw John Dillinger. Johnson plays the dedicated G-man Melvin Purvis, determined to bring down Public-Enemy-Number-One Dillinger and his gang of defiant bank robbers. Of the classic gangster thrillers of the ‘70’s, this is a ‘must see’ as Warren Oates nails-it as the irascible Dillinger.

The Shooting

Shot entirely in natural lighting on a budget of only $75K and a shooting schedule of only 3 weeks, The Shooting is a 1966 Western Drama directed by Monte Hellman and stars Warren Oates, Jack Nicholson, Will Hutchins and Millie Perkins. It tells the tale of a mysterious woman that manipulates two cowboys to help her in a revenge scheme. An interesting aside – filmed in 1965 and shown in film festivals (favorably) in 1966, The Shooting is one of co-star Jack Nicholson’s earlier films – several years prior to his popular breakout role of hard-drinking lawyer George Hanson in Easy Rider in 1969 for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.