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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

By the end of "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" John Wayne's character, Tom Donafon, has died. His funeral in Shinbone is the basis for the flashbacks which take up most of the film. 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

Hardy Fimps: What's sugar tits?
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Running Scared (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Guitar Concerto in D, 2nd movement (Largo)
(uncredited)
Written by Antonio Vivaldi
Played by Slim and also heard during a scene of the drive
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A surprisingly tough Western with good acting
30 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Cowboys" gives a solid performance by John Wayne, with excellent support from Roscoe Lee Browne and especially Bruce Dern.

John Wayne plays his role well as the aging rancher who needs to get his herd on the trail and has trouble finding help. He shows softer moments than is typical for him, and seems almost wistful at times.

The supporting cast of about a dozen boys who end up helping him do a pretty good job as well. When the film gets under way, the boys make you think you are in for a relatively smooth ride, but some of the later scenes get pretty intense.

Browne has the somewhat trite role of a wisdom-dispensing African-American, but he does have some good lines that he does well with. Whereas many films today might downplay the issue of his skin color, "The Cowboys" has fairly realistic reactions from a variety of people to a black man working in the West.

Bruce Dern comes off as one of the creepiest bad guys in a Western. In early scenes his (unnamed) character tries to pass himself off as smooth and sweet-talking, but eventually his true colors show, and he is downright scary. He has an especially frightening confrontation with one of the boys, and a wild-eyed showdown with John Wayne that really cements him as one of the worst bad guys ever played in a Western.

The story is pretty much by the book, with only one big surprise in a fight near the end. It also takes a little while to get going, but by the first scene with the boys in the corral, it hums along.

On the whole, a good Western with some excellent acting.


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