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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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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:

All they wanted was their chance to be men...and he gave it to them. 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

Film debut of Robert Carradine. See more »

Goofs

In the schoolroom, John Wayne wipes the blackboard with his right jacket sleeve. When he leaves the schoolroom, there is no chalk on his sleeve. See more »

Quotes

Asa Watts: You're a hard man, Mr. Andersen.
Wil Andersen: It's a hard life.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Unzipping Body Bags (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Home on the Range
(uncredited)
Music by Daniel E. Kelley
Lyrics by Brewster M. Higley
Sung by the boys in camp
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Big mouth doesn't make a big man."

Wil Andersen (John Wayne) is an aging rancher who traveled 30 miles that day and didn't find a single hand that could throw in with him…

Anse Petersen (Slim Pickens) suggests to his best friend to hire local teenagers as cowboys for his 400-mile cattle drive… So, in the morning the children came very early to put in for the job… Obviously, nobody of them has been on a cattle drive…

For a cook, Wil hires a black man, Jedediah Nightlinger (Roscoe Lee Browne), who asked to be paid $125 knowing he should be got flooded out, stampeded out, frozen out or scalped by wild Red Indians…

However, a group of rustlers led by Asa Watts (Bruce Dern), the man with the long hair, came looking for work… But they were lying … They were after Andersen's 1,500 head of cattle…

One day, Andersen knew that Watts and his gang have been paralleling him for the herd… He also knew as soon as it's dark they'll be coming in… He doesn't know how rough they'll get… But right now they think they're one man and a bunch of kids…

When Jedediah falls behind with a broken wheel on the chuck wagon, Asa makes his move for the herd, engaging Wil in vicious fight…

There is a funny scene when two of the children meet on the trail a traveling bordello madam led by Colleen Dewhurst… And a touching scene where all the boys steal a whiskey bottle and have a little party, discussing the various attributes of their cooker, and his pretty independent character…

Filled with exciting adventure, gentle amusement, visually stunning photography, but most importantly how to want to see these children growing up so quickly, "The Cowboys" stands simply as one of John Wayne's best Westerns…


31 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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