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The Cowboys (1972) Poster

(1972)

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (4) | Continuity (4) | Factual errors (1) | Plot holes (1) | Revealing mistakes (4)

Anachronisms 

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.
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Before the trail drive, while Andersen is talking to the boys at the homestead, the mountain behind him has a visible white object at the top. The USAF radar site wasn't there until the early 1950s.
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In the beginning of the movie, the children in school are singing "The Star Spangled Banner". This is unlikely as that song was not adopted as the National Anthem until March 3rd 1931.
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Jet contrails near the beginning.
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Continuity 

When Andersen sends one of the boys back to find Mr. Nightlinger, he is riding a pale Appaloosa. He rides ahead to talk to another boy, but is now riding a red sorrel.
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In the schoolroom, John Wayne wipes the blackboard with his right jacket sleeve. When he leaves the schoolroom, there is no chalk on his sleeve.
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After Cimarron calls Slim's Mom a name, and they fight, when Cimarron is getting on is horse to leave, you can see Slim putting his hat on in the background as he walks up. When the camera changes to a close up of Wil and the boys, Slim is standing behind him, and isn't wearing his hat.
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When Cimarron breaks Crazy Alice, he is holding the rein in his left hand in the long shots, and in the close up shots it's in his right hand.
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Factual errors 

On the DVD special features, images of Sarah Cunningham (as Annie Anderson) are used in the "Cast & Crew" information for Colleen Dewhurst.
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Plot holes 

When Mr. Andersen is in the school, he puts a mark for Belle Fouche, SD on the board. He states his ranch is here, 400 miles away, and he draws a line headed NW of Belle Fouche. This would place him about Lewistown, MT. It is doubtful that Mr. Andersen would travel 400 miles to Belle Fouche, when Bozeman and Billings are both much closer, and in dire need of beef. The first big herd of cattle didn't come to MT until after the war (1866) so there was no way that they would have taken them east to send them further east.
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Revealing mistakes 

After burying Charlie Schwartz, he rides by in the next scene on his horse while Cimarron and Mr. Andersen talk.
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When Mr. Andersen is tying up Crazy Alice for the cowboys to ride, the horse changes from a dark-maned horse to one with a lighter brown mane.
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When Mr. Andersen is branding the calf during roundup, he only touches the iron to the calf once even though the brand on other livestock clearly shows two distinct O's. Before he brands the calf, one can clearly see that the iron is a single O.
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It appears that the Double O ranch has two different brands. During roundup and later in the film, the cattle wear a brand of two distinct O's separated by about 12 inches. In the scene before they start the drive, one of the horses appears to have a brand consisting of two Os connected horizontally. This brand should be the same as the brand the cattle wear. In addition, the connected Os might be called a lazy 8.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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