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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 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 <email@example.com>
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 »
In the scene where Anderson sends one of the boys back to find Mr. Nightlinger, Anderson is riding a pale Appaloosa. He rides ahead to talk to another boy, but is now riding a red sorrel. See more »
Don't you point to your ears now, son, because you ain't running back to Mr. Wil Andersen with those eyes rolling in the back of your head telling him there's these real bad men have been following us day and night. You're not gonna say that because I'm gonna come to you some night when it's real dark. I'm gonna come to you on tip toe so you ain't ever gonna be able to hear me.
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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
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