6.4/10
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Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969)

In 1909, when young Paiute Indian Willie Boy returns to his California reservation to be with Lola, whose father disapproves of him, a killing in self defense takes place, triggering a massive man hunt for Willie.

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Won 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Lola
...
Willie Boy
...
Dr. Elizabeth Arnold
...
Ray Calvert
...
George Hacker
...
Judge Benby
...
Sheriff Frank Wilson
Shelly Novack ...
Johnny Finney
...
Charlie Newcombe
Lloyd Gough ...
Dexter
Ned Romero ...
Tom
John Wheeler ...
Newman
Erik Holland ...
Digger (as Eric Holland)
Garry Walberg ...
Dr. Mills
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Storyline

Based on true events, Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, tells the story of one of the last Western manhunts, in 1909. Willie Boy, a Native American, kills his girlfriend's father in self defense, and the two go on the run, pursued by a search posse led by Sheriff Christopher Cooper. Written by Jon Hertzberg <jahertzb@students.wisc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Willie Boy incident was the most savage chapter in frontier history ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 1969 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Willie Boy  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Abraham Polonsky said to a USC film class at the time that he purposely shot and edited the manhunt sequences with characters moving in all directions across the screen, rather than in the usual way wherein both the runners and pursuers would move in the same direction across the shots (i.e. left to right) to enhance the impression of urgent suspense in a chase. Instead Polonsky was looking for a different feel for the audience, of the characters wandering, feeling their way through the landscape. He implied he was willing to sacrifice some suspense to externalize the characters' confusion. Polanski also said that for Katharine Ross' brief, artfully lit nude shot, he exposed the film correctly but then produced a high-contrast copy of the same film frames with deep blacks and transparent lights, then bi-packed both pieces of films together to rephotograph. The high contrast overlay ensured that the shadows on Katherine's body were black -- so that the image could not reveal more in the shadows than it was supposed to. See more »

Goofs

Willie Boy's original clothing and Cooper's haircut are more 1960s that 1900s. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tom: Did you see that crazy Calvert go by?
Willie Boy: Ate his dust.
Tom: When did you get back to Banning, Willie Boy?
Willie Boy: Five o'clock freight.
Tom: Goin' to the fiesta?
Willie Boy: Is that where you're goin', Tom?
Tom: Trailin' Mr. Calvert with a tow just in case he breaks down - or breaks his neck.
Willie Boy: Well, I guess that's where I'm goin'.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Red Hollywood (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Tell Them Robert Blake Did it!
22 May 2002 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

This lesser known Redford film has been recently, exploitively unearthed in the wake of co-star Blake's real-life arrest and trial for murder. Blake plays a Peyote Indian in 1909 who kills in self defense and is tracked all over the desert by a small posse led by sheriff Redford. Notable as the return to directing by a man who was blacklisted for 18 years prior, it has strong social commentary and the characters really represent aspects of a more contemporary society (namely the one that went on a Communist witch-hunt in the 1950's!) The film, though the plot line is fairly straightforward, isn't always easy to understand because many of the characters' traits and motivations are blurry. No one in the entire film, except possibly Lipton, is a sympathetic character. Everyone is either violent or stupid or manipulative or a combination of the three. There is some degree of suspense and tension in the film, but it doesn't really come off as wholly successful. Redford is an anti-hero, this time on the side of the law after previously playing a fugitive himself in "The Chase". Blake is a highly troubled soul who can't fit in to either the world of the reservations or white man. As his love interest, Ross is hilarious. With her anachronistic hair and slathered on redface make-up, she is the least likely Indian imaginable unless they had put Mamie Van Doren in the role. Why they bothered to cast her and give her second billing is a mystery anyway because one can not see her face in this movie!!!!!! Her hair in CONSTANTLY over half her face, she is photographed through brush and tall grass, behind hanging clothing, with wet hair all over her forehead and eyes, head hanging down, etc...to the point of hilarity. Clark's character is very enigmatic...sharing a lust/hate relationship with Redford. They strike some interesting notes, but their story isn't fleshed out properly. This is worth checking out for the occasional tension, the cat and mouse aspects of the chase and for it's camp value concerning the Indian characters, but the overall impact is not what was intended.


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