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The Castaway Cowboy (1974)

A Texas cowboy is rescued at sea by a 12-year-old boy. While he waits to return home, he decides to help out his rescuer's family.



(story & screenplay), (story) (as Richard Bluel) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lincoln Costain
Henrietta MacAvoy
Calvin Bryson
Booton 'Little Maca' MacAvoy
Elizabeth Smith ...
Liliha (MacAvoy housekeeper)
Marruja (Bryson's henchman)
Capt. Cary
Nephi Hannemann ...
Malakoma (witch doctor)
Lito Capiña ...
Ralph Hanalei ...
Oka (as Kahana)
Lee Woodd ...
Luis Delgado ...
The Hatman (loses hat to Costain)
Boatman taking Costain to ship


A Texas cowboy is rescued at sea by a 12-year-old boy. While he waits to return home, he decides to help out his rescuer's family.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A different kind of her came drifting into town...on a wave! See more »


Family | Comedy | Western


G | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

1 August 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Hawaiian Cowboy  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Second of two pictures in consecutive years for the Walt Disney Pictures studio for star James Garner who in the previous 1973 had headlined Disney's One Little Indian (1973). Both movies were westerns. See more »


Henrietta MacAvoy: Mr. Bryson tells me it's impossible to load cattle onto boats in these waters.
Calvin Bryson: It was tried once on the big island two ships ran on reefs and there's no anchorage further out.
Lincoln Costain: Don't they have docks in Alleah?
Calvin Bryson: Never needed them."
Lincoln Costain: Well how do they load then?
Calvin Bryson: Mostly by long boat. Can you imagine trying to load cattle by long boat?
Lincoln Costain: Well, there's got to be a way, there always is, it's just a matter of finding it.
Booton 'Little Maca' MacAvoy: Mr. Costain says there ain't never been a horse that ain't been rode and never been a ...
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User Reviews

Not bad for a Disney film in this period
24 March 2001 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

It has the benefit of being one of the most Kauai-intensive movies ever filmed. Not only was 90% of the movie actually made on that beautiful Hawaiian island, but it's actually SET there, too -- and there are very few movies both shot AND set in Hawaii.

The photography is excellent; the score is very good (but would have been better with a little more island influence), and the use of the Kauai locations, though limited to just a few, is first-rate. Garner is fine, and Culp makes a good, if foggily-motivated, villain.

However, the attitude toward the Hawaiians is painfully paternalistic, and there's a stupid, TRULY stupid, subplot involving "sorcery" and some extremely improbable caves, full of Tahitian statuary. Very bad idea.

Historically, it's a bit muddled; much is made of the idea that no one has found a way to load cattle aboard a schooner at this time. (Somewhere around 1870, I guess.) But over on the Big Island, this problem had been licked, and the founder of the Parker Ranch was already getting rich selling King Kamehameha's "big dogs.

If the script had been better, with a less predictable story, THE CASTAWAY COWBOY could have been a little gem. As it is, it's mostly a pretty time-passer.

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