IMDb > The Cowboys (1972)
The Cowboys
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Cowboys (1972) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 40 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
The Cowboys -- When all the adult men go off in search of gold, a veteran rancher is forced to hire eleven teenage boys as trail hands, and in the process of driving 1200 cattle across 400 rough miles, the young cowboys become cowmen.
The Cowboys -- A gunhand named Lane is hired by a widow, Mrs. Lowe, to find gold stolen by her husband so that she may return it and start fresh.

Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   9,146 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 35% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
William Dale Jennings (novel)
Irving Ravetch (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Cowboys on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 January 1972 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
All they wanted was their chance to be men...and he gave it to them. See more »
Plot:
When his cattle drivers abandon him for the gold fields, rancher Wil Andersen is forced to take on a... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
The Breaking of Boys and the Making of Men. See more (71 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Wayne ... Wil Andersen

Roscoe Lee Browne ... Jebediah Nightlinger

Bruce Dern ... Long Hair

Colleen Dewhurst ... Kate
Alfred Barker Jr. ... Fats - Cowboy
Nicolas Beauvy ... Dan - Cowboy
Steve Benedict ... Steve - Cowboy

Robert Carradine ... Slim Honeycutt - Cowboy

Norman Howell ... Weedy - Cowboy (as Norman Howell Jr.)

Stephen R. Hudis ... Charlie Schwartz - Cowboy (as Stephen Hudis)
Sean Kelly ... Stuttering Bob - Cowboy

A Martinez ... Cimarron - Cowboy
Clay O'Brien ... Hardy Fimps - Cowboy
Sam O'Brien ... Jimmy Phillips - Cowboy
Mike Pyeatt ... Homer Weems - Cowboy

Slim Pickens ... Anse
Lonny Chapman ... Homer's Father

Charles Tyner ... Stonemason
Sarah Cunningham ... Annie Andersen

Allyn Ann McLerie ... Ellen Price
Maggie Costain ... Phoebe

Matt Clark ... Smiley
Jerry Gatlin ... Howdy

Walter Scott ... Okay

Richard Farnsworth ... Henry Williams (as Dick Farnsworth)
Wallace Brooks ... Red Tucker
Charise Cullin ... Elizabeth
Collette Poeppel ... Rosemary (as Colette Poeppel)
Norman Howell Sr. ... Jim's Father (as Norman Howell)
Rita Hudis ... Charlie's Mother
Margaret Kelly ... Bob's Mother
Larry Randles ... Ben
Larry Finley ... Jake
Jim Burk ... Pete
Fred Brookfield ... Rustler
Tap Canutt ... Rustler
Chuck Courtney ... Rustler
Gary Epper ... Rustler
Tony Epper ... Rustler
Kent Hays ... Rustler
J.R. Randall ... Rustler (as J. R. Randall)
Henry Wills ... Rustler
Joe Yrigoyen ... Rustler
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ralph Volkie ... Ralphie (uncredited)

Directed by
Mark Rydell 
 
Writing credits
William Dale Jennings (novel)

Irving Ravetch (screenplay) &
Harriet Frank Jr. (screenplay) and
William Dale Jennings (screenplay)

Produced by
Mark Rydell .... producer
Tim Zinnemann .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
John Williams 
 
Cinematography by
Robert Surtees (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Neil Travis 
 
Casting by
Lynn Stalmaster 
 
Production Design by
Philip M. Jefferies  (as Philip Jefferies)
 
Set Decoration by
William Kiernan 
 
Costume Design by
Anthea Sylbert 
 
Makeup Department
Pat Abbott .... hair stylist (as Patricia Abbott)
Dave Grayson .... makeup artist
Emile LaVigne .... makeup artist (as Emile La Vigne)
 
Production Management
Nate H. Edwards .... production manager
Dick Moder .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert 'Buzz' Henry .... second unit director (as Robert Buzz Henry)
Tim Zinnemann .... assistant director
Jerry Ballew .... trainee assistant director (uncredited)
Frederic W. Brost .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Dick Moder .... first assistant director: second unit (uncredited)
Andy Siegel .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Robert Schultz .... property master
Jose Abrignani .... plasterer (uncredited)
Henry Alvarado .... laborer (uncredited)
Ray Barone .... painter (uncredited)
Joe Butterworth .... greensman (uncredited)
Joseph De Franco .... constructor (uncredited)
Albert Ellis .... construction gang boss (uncredited)
Hayes Ewing .... constructor (uncredited)
Guy Faria .... constructor (uncredited)
Frank Hafemann .... construction foreman (uncredited)
Oscar Hall .... constructor (uncredited)
Buck Hawkins .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Jack Jancich .... painter (uncredited)
John Jensen .... illustrator (uncredited)
Maurice Larson .... painter (uncredited)
Ben Massi .... painter (uncredited)
Ed Mulay .... second props (uncredited)
Angel Perez .... constructor (uncredited)
Bob Stahler .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Weston Webb .... constructor (uncredited)
Marty Wunderlich .... third props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Richard Portman .... re-recording
Kay Rose .... sound editor
Jack Solomon .... sound
John Ferguson .... radio man (uncredited)
Joe Kenworthy .... cable person (uncredited)
Al Yaylian .... boom operator (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Daniel Hays .... special effects (uncredited)
George Peckham .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Floyd Baze .... stunt double (uncredited)
Fred Brookfield .... stunts (uncredited)
Jim Burk .... stunts (uncredited)
Tap Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
Bill Catching .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Courtney .... stunts (uncredited)
Gary Epper .... stunts (uncredited)
Tony Epper .... stunts (uncredited)
Jerry Gatlin .... stunts (uncredited)
Kent Hays .... stunts (uncredited)
Robert 'Buzz' Henry .... stunts (uncredited)
Walt La Rue .... stunts (uncredited)
Glenn Randall Jr. .... stunts (uncredited)
J.R. Randall .... stunts (uncredited)
Larry Randles .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson .... stunt double: John Wayne (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson .... stunts (uncredited)
Walter Scott .... stunts (uncredited)
Casey Tibbs .... stunts (uncredited)
Buddy Van Horn .... stunts (uncredited)
Henry Wills .... stunts (uncredited)
Walter Wyatt .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Yrigoyen .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Glen Bird .... gaffer
James R. Connell .... camera operator
Don Lambert .... key grip
Terry K. Meade .... camera operator
Richard Barth .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Mark H. Davis .... photographer: second unit (uncredited)
Edward Morey III .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Gregory Nowak .... second grip (uncredited)
Dave Sutton .... special photographer (uncredited)
Mel Traxel .... still photographer (uncredited)
Joseph M. Wilcots .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Robert Willoughby .... special still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Luster Bayless .... costumer: John Wayne (uncredited)
Lambert Marks .... costumer (uncredited)
Neva Rames .... costumer: women (uncredited)
G. Tony Scarano .... costumer (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Robert Swink .... supervising film editor
Skip Nicholson .... laboratory: Technicolor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Donald Harris .... music editor
Tommy Morgan .... Musician: Harmonica
 
Transportation Department
James Antúnez .... driver: mobile home (uncredited)
George Coleman .... driver: s/w (uncredited)
Jerry Courion .... driver: crane (uncredited)
Bob Edwards .... transportation captain (uncredited)
Bob Goodrich .... driver: horse truck (uncredited)
Jack Lietzke .... driver: bus (uncredited)
Wilbur Munson .... driver: honeywagon (uncredited)
Frank Olmstead .... driver: special effects/wardrobe (uncredited)
Jack Schroetter .... driver: grip electric (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Red Burns .... riding instructor
Bob Forrest .... script supervisor
Phill Norman .... title designer
Joan Arnold .... production secretary (uncredited)
Harold Bates .... wrangler (uncredited)
Jack Casey .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Joe Catalfo .... first aid (uncredited)
Marty Dark .... timekeeper (uncredited)
Robert Davenport .... wrangler (uncredited)
Bill Gallant .... location manager (uncredited)
James W. Gavin .... helicopter pilot (uncredited)
Rolly Harper .... caterer (uncredited)
Lester Hoyle .... script supervisor: second unit (uncredited)
Billy Jones .... ramrod (uncredited)
Gordon G. Jones .... wrangler (uncredited)
Ray Kennedy .... wrangler (uncredited)
Frank D. Lane .... wrangler (uncredited)
George Leslie .... location auditor (uncredited)
Joe Lomax Sr. .... wrangler (uncredited)
Stanley Mark .... auditor: Sanford (uncredited)
Gene O'Brien .... wrangler (uncredited)
Buddy Sherwood .... wrangler (uncredited)
Nanette Siegert .... secretary: Mark Rydell (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
131 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (35 mm prints) | 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | 4-Track Stereo (some 35 mm prints)
Certification:
Australia:M | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-16 (uncut) (1999) | Finland:K-16 (cut) (1972) | France:U | Iceland:12 | Norway:16 | Portugal:M/12 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:12 (tv rating) | UK:12 (video re-rating) (this work has been approved under the different versions categories policy 2004) (2005) (uncut) | UK:PG (SubTV: cut by 1m 53 secs) (1992) | UK:PG (video rating: cut by 1m 30 secs) (1987) | USA:PG | USA:GP (original rating) | West Germany:16
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The tune that is played on guitar at the camp fire is "Guitar Concerto in D Major" by Antonio Vivaldi.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: 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:Sometimes it's hard to understand the drift of things. This was a good boy. He'd have been a good man. He didn't get his chance. Death can come for ya any place, any time. It's never welcomed. But if you've done all you can do, and it's your best, in a way I guess you're ready for it.See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in Running Scared (2006)See more »
Soundtrack:
Star Spangled BannerSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
8 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
The Breaking of Boys and the Making of Men., 9 May 2011
Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom

The Cowboys is directed by Mark Rydell and adapted from the novel written by William Dale Jennings; who co-writes the screenplay with Irving Ravetch & Harriet Frank Jr. It stars John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Bruce Dern and Colleen Dewhurst. John Williams scores the music and Robert Surtees is the cinematographer. Plot sees Wayne as tough cattleman Wil Andersen, who after finding all his cowhands have fled to find their fortune elsewhere, is forced to use a bunch of green teenagers to get his beef to market. It's a journey of some distinction, for Wil, the boys and the villains who lurk on the edges of the frame.

If ever there was a John Wayne picture that was in need of serious critical reevaluation, both as a measure of his acting ability-and quality in film narrative, then The Cowboys is the one. It's a film that has been known to upset the liberal minded, where the ideology at its core has been lambasted as being objectionable in the least. Yet looking at it closely, away from the humour that does exist within, it finds the Duke at his most vulnerable, therefore believable, and at its centre it's a coming of age tale told with cynical coldness. During this cattle drive innocence will be lost, Andersen is tough and a disciplinarian, yet he's always a benevolent father figure. Wil himself hit the cattle drive trail at 13, he knows the pains and perils of such a task. He also knows that boys need to become men, especially out here in the wilderness. I'd be disappointed in a piece of Western genre cinema if it glossed over this fact. And The Cowboys doesn't, it has a sting in its tail, the trick is that the boys are not judged by how Wil taught them, but defined by a turn of events that calls on them to "man" up. The actions of another being the catalyst for childhood's ending.

Robert Surtees' photography paints a beautiful picture, it's pastoral, broad and appealing, but crucially it doesn't make it poetic. These young lads are entering the unknown, each section of God's great land is beautiful to us, but dangerous to them. It's an overlooked point that critics of the film ignore, that of Wil Andersen not leading these boys on a romantic trip thru the colourful terrain. It's not romantic, it's dangerous, and it's credit to Surtees that he achieves both sides of the coin; beauty and peril in the same frame. The young actors are, expectedly, a mixed bunch, but there's nothing here to be overtly negative about. Roscoe Lee Browne is terrific, his shift from wry observationalist to "Mother Hen" is handled with great skill, and Bruce Dern is memorable in more ways than one. The complaints come from not enough screen time for Colleen Dewhurst, who playing a bordello madame positively threatens to send the film's rating thru the roof (and the male viewers temperature's), while the running time is simply too long-too episodic-and quite frankly, unnecessary.

The Cowboys is not a perceived John Wayne macho based fantasy movie, it has meaning, depth, bravery and a first class performance from the Duke himself. 8/10

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (71 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Cowboys (1972)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Sean Kelly and Stephen Hudis brenda50841
Controversy? matthewpkennedy
Who is your favorite Cowboy? Zymm
My favorite line in this movie mag7_1
BEST SCREEN VILLAINS judebonner2
if wayne had'nt been hit from behind (spoilers).... BrissyBrett
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Hang 'Em High Bandolero! Chisum Bend of the River Nevada Smith
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Adventure section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.