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The Cowboys (1972)

GP  -  Adventure | Comedy | Drama  -  13 January 1972 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 8,438 users  
Reviews: 72 user | 42 critic

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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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
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
Edit

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

After burying Charlie Schwartz, he walks by in the next scene on his horse while Cimmaron and Mr. Anderson talk. See more »

Quotes

Wil Andersen: You know, trail driving is not Sunday school picnic. You got to figure you're dealing with the dumbest oneriest critter on God's green earth. The cow is nothing but trouble tied up in a leather bag - and the horse ain't much better.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Veronica Mars: Meet John Smith (2004) 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

 
Brilliant
9 May 2002 | by (Denver Colorado) – 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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