7.2/10
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61 user 19 critic

Will Penny (1967)

Approved | | Romance, Western | 10 April 1968 (USA)
Aging cowboy Will Penny gets a line camp job on a large cattle spread and finds his isolated cabin is already occupied by a husbandless woman and her young son.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Alex (Flat Iron Ranch foreman)
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Dutchy
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Boetius Sullivan
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Quentin Dean ...
Jennie
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Dr. Fraker
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Mrs. Fraker
Robert Luster ...
Shem Bodine
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Storyline

Will Penny, an aging cowpoke, takes a "line-rider" job on a vast cattle ranch requiring him to keep trespassers and squatters moving till they're off the property. Ironically, he discovers that the mountain cabin reserved for the line rider has been appropriated by Catherine Allen and her young son, Horace, whose guide has deserted them en route to Oregon to join Catherine's husband. Too soft-hearted and ashamed to kick mother and child out just as the bitter Rocky Mountains winter sets in, he agrees to share the cabin until the spring thaw. But it isn't just the snow that slowly thaws; lonely man and woman soon forget their considerable dissimilarities and start developing a deep, if awkward and unstated, love for each another. Beyond this, Horace finds in Will the father he's never known, and Will finds in Horace the son he's never known he's wanted. The trio's little refuge is then invaded by Bible-quoting Preacher Quint and his murderous family of "rawhiders," who'd earlier nearly... Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cabin | aging | cattle | mountain | child | See All (92) »

Taglines:

Grizzled. Tough. A Rawhider. A Loner. Look at him. You'd never know he could love...just as hard as he could hate! See more »

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 April 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

...E o Bravo Ficou Só  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was based on an episode entitled "Line Camp" in Sam Peckinpah's television series The Westerner (1960). The episode was also written and directed by this films writer and director, Tom Gries [See: The Westerner: Line Camp (1960))]. See more »

Goofs

During the fight between Will Penny and the Quint family, one of the brothers throws a knife into Penny's chest. A wire attached to the knife a very obvious. See more »

Quotes

Catherine Allen: How often do you bathe?
Will Penny: Well, eight or nine times. It depends.
Catherine Allen: On what?
Will Penny: The weather.
Catherine Allen: Eight or nine times a month?
Will Penny: Eight or nine times a month? A year!
Catherine Allen: A year?
Will Penny: Well sure. You have a real good one when you finish the shove up north, like at the hotel in Alfred. Then one or two in the winter, if you don't catch your death. Then a couple in the spring and one more good one before you start the shove up again. The rest depends on what kind of water you hit on the drive. Well, what's wrong with that?...
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Connections

Referenced in Unforgiven (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Lonely Rider, The
Written by David Raksin, Robert Wells
Sung by Don Cherry
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User Reviews

 
Very good film
4 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a good, good movie..underrated & under appreciated....and somewhat largely unseen. Never a Heston fan....I was very pleasantly surprised & taken by his "Will"....he gives a fine, understated performance as the aging loner just looking for his next job..to get through the winter till he can hook up with a cattle drive in the spring. Heston is excellent, free of the melodramatics & overacting found in some of his other work. Will is an aging cowboy, a loner, an illiterate, faced with the prospects of a dim future. He is someone who realizes that he can't do anything else but what he has been doing all his life..he punches cattle because it's the only thing he's ever done, and the only thing he knows how to do......even as railroad tracks laid on the prairie indicate that time may be running out for the cowboy way of life. Nearing fifty, he has never learned to read or write, and existed moving from one job to the next...

Along the way..there's a chance encounter w/ Quint ....the psycho preacher and his degenerate sons, Rafe , Rufus , & Romulus..featuring Donald Pleasance in a maniacal..over the top performance.., & Bruce Dern as one of his loony sons. These guys could give the Hammond Brothers ("Ride the High Country") a run for their money.

There's also Joan Hackett, in a lovely, subtle, yet solid performance as Catherine Allen , a woman travelling across country w/ her young son, in search of her husband, who had gone on ahead ...through whom Will sees a life he never had..& never thought possible. The film is notable in that it presents not at all a romantic image of the West..Cowpunching not being a glamorous profession....not a lot of 'Yeehas' here... it's a life of solitude and hard work.. The work is brutal..., hired one day and out of work the next....... Yes..there is action..fistfights..gunplay & violence...but the first fistfight..shows us the kind of territory we're in...get it on..get it over with.. Here we see the kind of people who must really have inhabited the West..cowpunchers,.families looking for a better life... (sure, there were bounty hunters, bank robbers, marshalls...shootouts at High Noon..the OK Corral etc.) .....but this is more of a character study of people very much like us. In one of the gunfights...a cowboy sustains a bullet wound in a way that's atypical of western movies..but probably pretty typical of the real West.

Another nice touch is the "town" Will, Blue, & Dutchy ride into...many "towns" really did consist of nothing more than a couple of buildings ..a few shacks and a tent. The direction was superb; Lucien Ballard's cinematography added to the splendor of the story. ..filmed in the glorious Inyo Mountains of California.

The music in the movie is mostly uninspired , although by no means terrible or distracting..

Some fine, familiar character actors are here.. the can't be anything but great Ben Johnson appears as the top hand at the ranch where Will takes a job riding line... William Schallert, Clifton James, and Anthony Zerbe all deliver good performances. Lee Majors is passable.

In short.."Will Penny" is a film that deserves to be seen & enjoyed.. & savored.


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