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The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

PG  |   |  Western  |  30 June 1976 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 45,103 users  
Reviews: 181 user | 69 critic

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

The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) on IMDb 7.9/10

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Bill McKinney ...
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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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In all his Westerns, Clint Eastwood only kills an Indian once in this movie. He rides with the outlaw gang who kidnaps Lee and Watie. See more »

Goofs

When Josey is chasing Redlegs from the final battle the camera is filming from overhead and the two pass two Hereford (or white faced cattle). They must have belonged to a modern local rancher since earlier in the film the settlers brought only longhorn cattle (about half a dozen head) with them. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Don's Plum (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Rose of Alabamy
(uncredited)
Written by Silas Sexton Steel
Performed by Sam Bottoms
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Love, Hate, Revenge, Forgiveness, Sorrow, Life, Death.
4 November 2002 | by (Swieqi, Malta) – See all my reviews

Love, hate, revenge, forgiveness, sorrow, life, death, emargination, racism, the uselessness of war, betrayal, redemption, solidarity, friendship. Not many films manage to deal competently with even just one of these topics. This masterpiece deals with all. Within the first 4 or 5 minutes (even before the opening credits) one has already been exposed to more force and emotion than most films can pack up in 90 minutes.

By the end of the 2 hrs 10 minutes of this film one would have lived through tour-de-force highlighted by memorable climaxes and showdowns featuring some of the most striking dialogue in cinematic history... "dying ain't no way to make a living". Eastwood's character doesn't speak much but utters a handful of memorable lines.

The central character played by Eastwood is given fine support by an excellent ensemble cast including Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke, Bill McKinney and most of all John Vernon. John Vernon plays a character called Fletcher who turns out to be one of the most complex characters I have ever come across. His motivations and true intentions are never quite clear. He comes across as a bit of a Judas figure and yet he still retains his humanity as the script and Eastwood as the director never truly judge Fletcher, leaving the viewer to judge for him or herself. Almost every character is memorable and every performance fits in place.

The action is sudden and explosive and not always expected. The film takes many twists and turns, yet every twist is a natural consequence of the situations and characters in the film. Ultimately one is left with a truly rich cinematic experience which should appeal to more than just fans of the Western genre. Its themes of suffering and the consequences of evil acts is still sadly relevant in today's world - a world in which not all wars are won by the good guys and in which the good are sometimes persecuted by those who win these wars.

When thinking of the best pre-credit sequences ever forget most others... this should be your best bet.


77 of 96 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
Why do the Redlegs let Josie live at the beginning of the film? ronfar623
What is Your Favorite Part of the Movie? IamTenBears
Favorite Minor Character IamTenBears
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