Junior Bonner (1972)

PG  |   |  Drama, Western  |  2 August 1972 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 3,791 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 27 critic

Ace Bonner returns to Arizona several years after he abandoned his family, Junior Bonner is a wild young man. Against the typical rodeo championship, family drama erupts.



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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ace Bonner
Elvira Bonner
Buck Roan
Curly Bonner
Mary Murphy ...
Ruth Bonner
Red Terwiliger (as William McKinney)
Sandra Deel ...
Nurse Arlis
Homer Rutledge (as Donald Barry)
Charles H. Gray ...
Burt (as Charles Gray)
Matthew Peckinpah ...
Tim Bonner
Sundown Spencer ...
Nick Bonner
Rita Garrison ...


A week with Junior Bonner, a rodeo pro on the wrong side of 40, broke, bruised, and headed into Prescott, his home town, for the annual 4th of July Frontier Days. His dad, Ace, is a dissolute dreamer fixed on finding gold in Australia; his mom is resigned to Ace's roving; his brother Curly is tearing up the countryside to make a million in real estate. Junior just wants to stay on a bucking Brahma for eight seconds, hang out with Ace, find a way to spend time with a beautiful woman whose eyes catch his, and earn enough to get to next week's rodeo. As the old West and its code give way to progress, Junior is lonesome, laconic, and on the road - just where he wants to be. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Steve McQueen going down his own road, tougher than ever, as "Junior Bonner" See more »


Drama | Western


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 August 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dez Segundos de Perigo  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,200,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Joe Don Baker and Sam Peckinpah reportedly did not get along while filming. Baker had this to say on Peckinpah:

"I didn't care for Peckinpah at all. He was one of those little guys who tries to bully big guys and he almost got his ass whipped for trying to do it to me. Every time I was going to throttle Peckinpah, Steve McQueen would come over and calm me down like a brother would." See more »


About 20 minutes into the movie, Junior is drinking a beer at the bar. Just before he walks over to the booth to talk with Buck, Homer offers to buy him another beer, Junior tells him to leave it on the bar, and then Junior walks to the booth. We see Del, the bartender, put the beer on the bar, next to another beer, but we see Junior carrying his first beer with him. See more »


Junior 'JR' Bonner: Didn't you always save the first dance for mom, Ace?
Curly Bonner: That's a good idea, Ace.
Elvira Bonner: Boys, times have changed. I changed them.
See more »


Referenced in Passion & Poetry: Sam's Trucker Movie (2013) See more »


Bound to Be Back Again
Words and Music by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter
Sung by Alex Taylor
Courtesy of Capricorn Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Tells the mythical tale of a dying breed--the American cowboy
30 July 2004 | by (Houston) – See all my reviews

I cannot believe this movie is not rated higher. It should be in the Top 250 IMDB movies. I guess most viewers are not really into sociology.

This movie is about telling the tale of a dying breed--the cowboy, and it is about a man who is chasing a disappearing lifestyle.

This movie is about folklore, about the American traditions. I realize that the mass media has wiped out our past; thanks to them we are in a sense, "tabula rasa."

We have forgotten our past. And the media recreates it for us.

Thank goodness for movies like Junior Bonner. They keep the past alive for us. This movie is like an oral storyteller sitting around the fire 10 thousand years ago, telling the tribe the myths of their ancestors.

Long live Junior Bonner!

31 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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