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The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

PG | | Western | 30 June 1976 (USA)
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A Missouri farmer joins a Confederate guerrilla unit and winds up on the run from the Union soldiers who murdered his family.

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Writers:

(book), (screenplay) (as Phil Kaufman) | 1 more credit »
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3,448 ( 137)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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 <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...an army of one.

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

30 June 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Rebel Outlaw: Josey Wells  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,700,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Uncredited Kyle Eastwood (in film debut) can be glimpsed very briefly in the opening sequence helping his dad, Josey, work the land by their home. See more »

Goofs

The Gatling guns shown during the massacre of the surrendering confederates are not Civil War period versions of that weapon. The Model 1861 Gatling was a .58 caliber weapon firing from individually loaded brass or steel chambers which were fed into the receiver via a hopper or chute attached to the side of the gun's housing. As a result, the gun's rate of fire was significantly slower than is shown in in the film. The guns shown in the movie were models of 1867 or later, which were chambered for fixed ammunition, usually 45/70 and fed through a stick magazine on the top of the weapon's receiver. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Hot Fuzz (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Hymn of the Republic
(uncredited)
Music by William Steffe
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe
Performed by William O'Connell
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the Best Westerns (Short List, Too)
8 March 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The best thing I can say about this film is that it manages to be Epic --truly grand, covering broad territories interior and exterior, a lot of emotional, moral and physical ground-- without posturing or self-conscious bigness. You never get the feeling people are being herded onto a giant mark for a take. --Or that Eastwood the Director is scrambling for filler, biding his time until the timing is right for the next blow-out set piece. In a word, it really has none of the faults even of some of my long-time cherished 'favorite' epics (no names please). It is more focused and more genuinely evocative of mood than Nevada Smith, which its story may faintly call to mind; it seems less overtly "Hollywooden" than that film, too.

Westerns that stand in stature alongside Josey Wales: The Searchers, One Eyed Jacks, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Fort Apache, and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Beyond that, I draw a blank. The Boetticher and Mann '50s westerns with James Stewart and Randolph Scott are probably the real spiritual predecessors of this film, although, stylistically, Eastwood has clearly studied his Ford and paid close attention to Leone. (Those who've seen Jimmy Stewart break down in tears of moral anguish in one of the aforementioned films-- or watched Randolph Scott use up all his ammo in a standoff on some matter of principal so imperative that he cannot move until the thing plays itself out, however that may be-- know exactly what I mean.)

Another thing I like: Whenever you get too comfy within the environment of this film --as you did, say, in the late John Wayne westerns, after he had become such a franchise-- along comes some major shock or disappointment or unbearably poignant bit to remind you that the model of this film is, after all, real life, where these kinds of thing happens all the time.

-----------------------

May I add a spoiler at this point? I said "A SPOILER??" What happens to Terrill, the chief red leg, at the end of this film is more in line with the fate I envisioned early in the going for Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York. It is spectacular, painful to watch and more than a touch grisly. But it is not so overblown and RoboCopesque that you can't imagine such a pivotal moment actually happening that way. The ending of The Outlaw Josey Wales is, in a word, what the ending of Gangs would have been if the focus groups and script doctors and the Great Scorcese had gotten the thing right.

Ten stars.See it.


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Recent Posts
Favorite scene? cmk78250
Opening scene fails to connect? ilBuono
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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