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Cannes Classics - Tributes


Directed by : Bill DUKE

Year of production : 1985 Country : UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Length : 118 minutes


Screened in the 1985 Semaine de la Critique, this Sundance Award-winning drama was directed by Bill Duke as his first feature from a screenplay by producer-filmmaker Elsa Rassbach and the renowned Black dramatist Leslie Lee. Based on actual events and characters, the film's story is told by Frank Custer (Damien Leake), a southern Black migrant working on the "kill floor" of a giant Chicago slaughterhouse in World War I. While struggling to bring his wife (Alfre Woodard) and children "up north", Frank joins with European immigrant workers in a pioneering effort to build the first interracial union in the Stockyards but must confront rising racial and ethnic tensions -- stoked by management and culminating in the notorious Chicago "race riot" of 1919-- as he attempts to unite the workers.

Cannes Classics

The Killing Floor - Trailer


Bill DUKE - Director

Leslie LEE - Script / Dialogue

Elsa RASSBACH - Script / Dialogue

Bill BIRCH - Cinematography

Maher AHMAD - Set decorator

John N. CARTER - Film Editor

Elizabeth SWADOS - Music

Robert N. KIDDER - Sound


Damien LEAKE - Frank Custer

Moses GUNN - Heavy Williams

Alfre WOODARD - Mattie Custer

Clarence FELDER - Bill Bremer

Dennis FARINA - Foreman Harry Brennan

Ernest RAYFORD - Thomas Joshua

Mary ALICE - Lilah Deane

John MAHONEY - Thomas Condon

Patrick NUGENT - Jack Johnstone

Stephen HENDERSON - James Cheeks

Ted LEVINE - Commander

Poster of the Movie © Made in U.S.A. Productions, Inc.

Press news

Press kit

English Press KIt



MADE IN U.S.A. PRODUCTIONS, INC. - c/o Elsa Rassbach, President, Moeckernkiez 4 10963 BERLIN GERMANY - T: 49 1707381450 - -

International press

MADE IN U.S.A. PRODUCTIONS, INC. - T: 49 1707381450 -

International sales

MADE IN U.S.A. PRODUCTIONS, INC. - T: 49 1707381450 -

Cannes Classics