Junior Bonner (1972)

PG  |   |  Drama, Western  |  2 August 1972 (USA)
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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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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
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Did You Know?


The yellow dog that you see in the movie is the grandson to Spike the dog, from the movie Old Yeller (1957). See more »


During Junior's last bull ride, one of the shots shows him riding a different (smaller) bull. 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 »


Rodeo Man
Words and Music by Rod Hart
Sung by Rod Hart
See more »

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User Reviews

Violently quiet
27 October 2002 | by (Lynden, Washington) – See all my reviews

Steve McQueen is my favorite actor. Bullitt is my favorite McQueen movie, but Junior Bonner is my favorite McQueen character. McQueen, as usual (and this is what makes him great), communicates more with silence than in delivering a line. The violence of the rodeo is juxtaposed against one man's unwillingness to let go of a lifestyle that is obviously coming to an end. The open west is giving way to trailers, his parents are separating forever, and his home has become a place for strangers. Junior is aging as an athlete, and as a-no-longer- young man. Even his Cadillac is on the downward side of a once successful career. The split screens and slow motion are interesting without being intrusive. This movie is about the triumph of a man who stays true to his own values, regardless of how irrelevant his environment may soon become. One man CAN make a difference. Steve McQueen was always that one man.

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