The Culpepper Cattle Co. (1972)

PG  |   |  Western  |  21 July 1972 (Finland)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 942 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 11 critic

Young farmboy who always wanted to be a cowhand talks a tough trail boss into hiring him on a cattle drive.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Mockridge
Frank Culpepper (as Billy "Green" Bush)
Dixie Brick
Wayne Sutherlin ...
John McLiam ...
Thorton Pierce
Raymond Guth ...
Anthony James ...
Tim Slater (as Charlie Martin Smith)
Larry Finley ...
Mr. Slater
Bob Morgan ...
Old John
Jan Burrell ...
Mrs. Mockridge


Teenager Ben Mockridge feels life in a Wild West farm town has nothing better to offer then horse-cart racing with other hicks, so he naively begs cattle company owner Frank Culpepper to engage him as 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, witnessing unpunished crimes... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


How Many Men Do You Have to Kill to Be the Great American Cowboy?




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Release Date:

21 July 1972 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

La poussière, la sueur et la poudre  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Directorial debut of Dick Richards. See more »


Luke, Drover: Don't turn your back on me, mister!
Frank Culpepper: Don't let your mouth overload your hardware, cowboy.
See more »


References Red River (1948) See more »


Amazing Grace
Lyrics by John Newton
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User Reviews

Wish I'd Seen This as a Young Man
2 October 2006 | by (Savannah, GA) – See all my reviews

Had I seen "The Culpepper Cattle Company" when it was released (I was 23), my life would have been a lot different; at least, if I'd understood and accepted the message. For, "The Culpepper Cattle Company" is about as bleak and realistic as any movie ever made. Gary Grimes plays a teenager with romantic, adventuresome ideas about cowboys. He learns, tragically, something completely different, after working for a short time on a cattle drive. Grimes doesn't just learn the usual lessons; that is, the work is exhausting, dirty, always dangerous and frequently unrewarding. He learns that most causes and people are treacherous, deceitful, selfish and certainly not worth dieing or killing for. Grimes also learns a lot about himself; some of which he probably didn't want to know.

There are a lot of fine performances in "The Culpepper Cattle Company," but Geoffrey Lewis makes the strongest impression. Lewis has such crazy blue eyes, it's no surprising producer Sergio Leone tapped him for head villain in "My name is Nobody" and Eastwood did the same for "High Plains Drifter." Here, Lewis plays a man who, under different circumstances, was probably quite decent. Now, he's just mean spirited and dangerous.

"The Culpepper Cattle Company" also boasts excellent production design, gritty photography and classic, memorable score by the beloved Jerry Goldsmith. Just don't expect to leave this movie feeling upbeat, inspired or even sad. You're more likely to feel slightly depressed. That being said, I give "The Culpepper Cattle Company" an "8".

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