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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 9,096 users  
Reviews: 71 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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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:

 »
Edit

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

The poem read in the school, starting "Hail to thee blithe spirit/ Bird thou never wert . . . " is "To A Skylark" by Percy Bysshe Shelley. 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

Jebediah Nightlinger: This may seem a lonesome place to leave him, but he is not alone, because many of his kind rest here with him. The prairie was like a mother to Mr. Andersen. He belonged to her. She cared for him while he lived. And she is nursing him while he sleeps.
See more »

Connections

Spin-off The Cowboys (1974) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"Big mouth doesn't make a big man."

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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