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The Cowboys (1972)

Rancher Wil Andersen is forced to hire inexperienced boys as cowhands in order to get his herd to market on time but the rough drive is full of dangers and a gang of cattle rustlers is trailing them.

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Alfred Barker Jr. ...
Nicolas Beauvy ...
Dan - Cowboy
Steve Benedict ...
Steve - Cowboy
...
...
Weedy - Cowboy (as Norman Howell Jr.)
...
Charlie Schwartz - Cowboy (as Stephen Hudis)
Sean Kelly ...
...
...
Sam O'Brien ...
Jimmy Phillips - Cowboy
Mike Pyeatt ...
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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:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$7,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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

When Mr. Nightlinger (Roscoe Lee Brown) first meets John Wayne's character Mr. Anderson and is asked about his experience in cattle drives....he mentions the Oregon trail, Chisum and Sante Fe. John Wayne played John Chisum in the film "Chisum" previously in 1970. See more »

Goofs

When the old bull and young bull are fighting, the old bull is a Brahman cross bull, probably a beefmaster or beefmaster type. This is easily identified by the loose skin, particularly around the sheath, and slightly larger ears. However, the first Brahman cattle were imported into the United States in 1854 from India and were used in a circus; cattle for breeding were not imported until the end of the 1800s. These cattle were kept solely in the Gulf states until well into the 1900s due to the fact that they are extremely heat-tolerant but do very poorly in colder climates. Even today's Brahman and cross cattle could not survive in the extreme winter weather of the north. (See: American Brahman Breeders Association, History of Brahman Cattle) While this would be unnoticed by anyone who was not very familiar with breeds of cattle, it would never occur in real life. See more »

Quotes

Wil Andersen: A fool comes to town with a fistful of gold dust, and every jackass from 50 miles around lights out after him.
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Connections

Referenced in Christmas Town (2008) 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
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User Reviews

 
Brilliant
9 May 2002 | by See all my reviews

This is that is by far one of the finest Westerns ever made. The script is superb, with lines like Wayne's toward Bruce Dern, "I've broke my back once and my hip twice and on my worst day I could beat the hell out of you," classic Wayne. His performance is one of the most honest of his career. As his relationship with the boys grows it is both tender and tough. You get everything with this film. From the boys proving they belong on the drive to Rosco Lee Brown's magnificent counterpoint to Wayne. The cinematography is great and the music score outstanding. It embraces every aspect of the Western. Each time I watch it I find another reason to move it up the ladder in my list of favorites. It is truly the last of the great Westerns before the advent of such movies as "The Outlaw Josey Wales" and others forever changed the way Westerns were written and produced. It's an old school movie, but school was never any better than this.


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