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The Cowboys (1972)

When his cattle drivers abandon him for the gold fields, rancher Wil Andersen is forced to take on a collection of young boys as his drivers in order to get his herd to market in time to ... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Kate
Alfred Barker Jr. ...
Fats - Cowboy
Nicolas Beauvy ...
Dan - Cowboy
Steve Benedict ...
Steve - Cowboy
...
Slim Honeycutt - Cowboy
...
Weedy - Cowboy (as Norman Howell Jr.)
...
Charlie Schwartz - Cowboy (as Stephen Hudis)
Sean Kelly ...
Stuttering Bob - Cowboy
...
Clay O'Brien ...
Hardy Fimps - Cowboy
Sam O'Brien ...
Jimmy Phillips - Cowboy
Mike Pyeatt ...
Homer Weems - Cowboy
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Storyline

When his cattle drivers abandon him for the gold fields, rancher Wil Andersen is forced to take on a collection of young boys as his drivers in order to get his herd to market in time to avoid financial disaster. The boys learn to do a man's job under Andersen's tutelage; however, neither Andersen nor the boys know that a gang of cattle thieves is stalking them. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The youngest was nine. There wasn't one of them over fifteen. At first, he couldn't stand the sight of them. At last, he couldn't take his eyes away. See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 January 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cowboys  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$7,500,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)| (some 35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mark Rydell originally sought George C. Scott for the role of Wil Andersen because he despised John Wayne's views on the Vietnam War and other aspects of U.S. foreign policy. Ironically, some critics in 1972 believed that the way in which Wayne's character drafts the children out of school was a pro-war allegory for Vietnam. See more »

Goofs

When Andersen sends one of the boys back to find Mr. Nightlinger, he is riding a pale Appaloosa. He rides ahead to talk to another boy, but is now riding a red sorrel. See more »

Quotes

[before fighting Asa Watts]
Wil Andersen: I'm thirty years older than you are. I had my back broke once, and my hip twice. And on my worst day I could beat the hell out of you.
Asa Watts: [smiles, shakes his head] I don't think so.
Wil Andersen: You will.
[Knocks him down with a big left]
See more »


Soundtracks

The Star Spangled Banner
(uncredited)
Music by John Stafford Smith
Lyrics by Francis Scott Key
Sung by school children
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Duke:Still My Hero
16 September 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What a thrill it is for me to be able to say that I experienced the tremendous presence of John Wayne on the big screen.I was but a lad of 7 when I was taken to a local theater to see this, one of the last performances of one of the biggest stars ever. This is without question the ultimate boys-to-men story.Duke (in the character of Wil Anderson) is faced with a dilemma. There is cattle to drive and no available men in town due to an epidemic of gold fever.There's no one left but a classroom full of boys aged 15 and younger.He seems insulted at first at the notion of taking them on,but left with no choice,he does. Any young child, such as I was at the time,almost wished he could come along for the ride.By the end of the film,they may still be boys in body,but they have the spirit of young men. Excellent casting here,with Bruce Dern as one of the most effective screen villains ever,and the memorable performance of Roscoe Lee Browne as worldly and intelligent Jebediah Nightlinger.As a grown man viewing this film today,I can honestly say that the Duke is still my hero.

4/12/2007 R.I.P. Roscoe Lee Browne (1925-2007)


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