J.W. Coop (1971)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Western  |  1 January 1972 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 335 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 2 critic

After losing 9 years 9 months and thirteen days to prison, cowboy J. W. Coop is released to return to life as a professional rodeo cowboy in the 60's. Determined to make up for the lost '... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
J.W. Coop
Jim Sawyer
R.L. Armstrong ...
Tooter Watson
John Crawford ...
Wade Crosby ...
Billy Sol Gibbs
Marjorie Durant ...
Big Marge (as Marjorie Durant Dye)
Paul Harper ...
Warden Morgan
Son Hooker ...
Motorcycle Cop
Richard Kennedy ...
Diesel Tanker Driver
Larry Mahan ...
Mary-Robin Redd ...
Bonnie May
Dennis Reiners ...
Billy Hawkins


After losing 9 years 9 months and thirteen days to prison, cowboy J. W. Coop is released to return to life as a professional rodeo cowboy in the 60's. Determined to make up for the lost 'prime' years of his career, he doggedly goes forward, and learns that not only has the business of rodeo changed during his incarceration but society as a whole has made dramatic changes as well. Written by David Fowler

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sensuality, language and brief violence | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 January 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Cowboy  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During the National Finals Rodeo sequence when the rodeo announcer is talking, the man with a cowboy hat and blue sport coat on and a blue scarf tie is Clem McSpadden. He was a nephew of Will Rogers and was a longtime Oklahoma State Senator. He was from Claremore, as was Will Rogers. He was also a famed rodeo announcer professionally. See more »


When the motorcycle cop pulls J. W. Coop over and asks him what is the year of the car he is driving, Coop replies that is a 1949. The car is actually a 1951 Hudson. See more »

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User Reviews

Robertson shows contemplative skill as a director...and as an actor gives arguably his best performance
17 May 2009 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Cliff Robertson co-wrote, co-produced, directed and stars in this unassuming rodeo drama-cum-character study, a movie he personally financed for distribution through Columbia Pictures by keeping costs down and paying most of his actors scale. It's a handsome, occasionally laconic piece of work, crisp and not dawdling, helped immeasurably by Frank Stanley's sometimes good-sometimes brilliant cinematography. The star of a Texas prison rodeo, having just served 10 years in the jug for writing bad checks, is paroled and hits the rodeo circuit, where he works his way up to second-best cowboy (just behind an airplane-chauffeured hotshot who barely has to break a sweat to be number one). Robertson directs himself very well--it is one of his finest performances--though the same can't be said for many of the supporting players, many of whom are real-life rodeo performers portraying themselves. An air of detached amateurism coats the project, with much of the background and sideline action coming off as needless, over-the-top, or just plain sloppy. Still, when Robertson zeros in on a sequence--such as a rough fist-fight in a men's washroom or an idyllic getaway for Coop and his hippie girlfriend--the results can be stunningly effective. Robertson is contemplative and unafraid to allow curious scenes to run their course; Geraldine Page, as Coop's mother, has just one long sequence that doesn't appear to do much for the picture, yet Robertson finds the rhythm in the dialogue and eventually gets to the meditative payoff. I'm not quite sure what the final scene is meant to say, except that "a loner is a lonely man"...still, the artiness which underlines the film's climax is a bit alienating. It doesn't make for a big night at the movies. ** from ****

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