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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>
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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