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The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

PG  |   |  Western  |  30 June 1976 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 46,913 users  
Reviews: 182 user | 70 critic

A Missouri farmer joins a Confederate guerrilla unit and winds up on the run from the Union soldiers who murdered his family.



(book), (screenplay) (as Phil Kaufman) , 1 more credit »
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Title: The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill McKinney ...
Paula Trueman ...
Sheb Wooley ...
Kelly (as Matt Clarke)
John Verros ...


Josey Wales makes his way west after the Civil War, determined to live a useful and helpful life. He joins up with a group of settlers who need the protection that a man as tough and experienced as he is can provide. Unfortunately, the past has a way of catching up with you, and Josey is a wanted man. Written by Murray Chapman <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines: army of one.




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

30 June 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Rebel Outlaw: Josey Wells  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,700,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Philip Kaufman started to direct the film but was replaced by Clint Eastwood, a controversial move which prompted the DGA to institute a ban on any current cast or crew member replacing the director on a film - a rule which has ever since been titled the "Eastwood rule." According to Eastwood biographer Marc Eliot part of the acrimony between the two married men was a result of both asking female lead Sondra Locke out to dinner on the same night. See more »


When Josey spits tobacco on the forehead of one of the hillbillies with rifles (that he and Jamie just shot) the dead man's eyes are closed. But when the camera cuts back briefly to show him laying on the ground the dead man's eyes have re-opened. See more »


[first lines]
Josey's wife: Little Josey! C'mon in, let's get you cleaned up!
See more »


Referenced in Gran Torino (2008) See more »


(I Wish I Was In) Dixie's Land
Written by Daniel Decatur Emmett
Performed by William O'Connell
See more »

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User Reviews

One Of My Favorite Westerns
8 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Clint Eastwood has directed, played in or starred in a lot of westerns. We all have our favorites and this my favorite Eastwood western, along with the more set-in-modern-day western, "Bronco Billy." (The latter is really a drama more than a western.)

This is simply an extremely entertaining story with two lead characters

  • played by Eastwood and Chief Dan George - who were fascinating to

watch. Also, as in most westerns, I enjoyed the good photography and was surprised, considering the year of release, that the language was pretty tame.

George has always been a favorite Native American actor for many people. He gets choice roles playing likable guys, and "Lone Watie" character here is no exception. Eastwood, as " Josey Wales," reverts successfully back to his "Man with no name" persona: you know, the strong silent and somewhat mean type. He's a lot like the characters John Wayne played late in his career. He best portrays this with scenes like the one in which he spits tobacco on his dog!

In addition, there are some solid actors in minor roles, people like John Vernon, Sondra Locke and Bill McKinney, Will Sampson, Sheb Wooley and Sam Bottoms, among others. I was surprised Locke, Eastwood's girlfriend or wife at the time, didn't have a bigger role. With her youthful looks and great big eyes, she looked prettier than I've ever seen her, although she never was a glamor girl or got many good parts.

At 136 minutes, this is a bit long but it never drags. This is one of the very few movies I ever watched twice within two weeks and enjoyed it immensely both times....and each time since.

59 of 75 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Opening scene fails to connect? ilBuono
Favorite scene? cmk78250
On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you think this film has aged? AbdulBenHassan
What is Your Favorite Part of the Movie? IamTenBears
Why do the Redlegs let Josie live at the beginning of the film? ronfar623
What Is The Greatest Movie Line Ever? Arbor1
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