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Teenager Ben Mockridge feels life in a Wild West farm town has nothing better to offer than horse-cart racing with other hicks, so he naively begs cattle company owner Frank Culpepper to engage him as the youngest cowboy for a long cattle trail to a fort. His mother barely notices. Ben doesn't even seem to get it when he's told to report as 'little Mary' to the old cook, whose words, "Cowboy is something you do only if you have nothing better." gradually become clear. Instead of an exciting heroic macho life, it's endless hard work, dumb chores and embarrassment, even getting literally caught with his pants down, robbed of his horse, and witnessing unpunished crimes... Written by
When Ben begs to be allowed to take a turn watching the cattle, he puts his gun on, and tries to do some fancy gun twirling. He knows enough that a gun-slinger wears his holster low on the hip at arms length, yet he fails to perform an important function of tying the holster down. Any kid who carries a gun, yearning to use it one day knows what the strings are for and how important they are. He wouldn't forget to do this, because his gun could bind during the draw. He can't wait to strap it on and tie it down. You tie them standing up, not after you get on the horse. See more »
I feel this is possibly the best Western I have ever seen. It portrays gritty people with simple outlooks to life. I believe this must truly show what the west was like - simple, rough, dirty, bad fitting clothes, etc. I was raised on Disney movies and when you compare this to them you get a real feel for what happens when a kid decides to chase a dream in the world of adults. My favorite line is when the kid tells one of the cowboys that being a cowboy is the greatest job in the world. The guy responds, " Kid, being a cowboy is what you do when you can't do anything else".
I suggest this as required viewing for anyone with an interest in the Old West.
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