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The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

PG  |   |  Western  |  30 June 1976 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 47,387 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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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
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 <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


...an 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
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Did You Know?


The first of six movies made by real-life couple Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke. See more »


At one point in the movie there is a soldier playing a 5 string open-back banjo claw-hammer style in the back-ground. Shadows through the leather head of the banjo can be seen. Even though the banjo started to evolve in the late 1840s, the open-back banjo was invented by Arthur Windsor in England after 1887 and "frailing" (claw-hammer style picking) did not become popular until the late 1800s'. See more »


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


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Laserblast (1996) See more »


The Outlaw Josey Wales
Written by Jerry Fielding
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User Reviews

Eastwood's Best
8 August 2004 | by (US of A) – See all my reviews

Certainly Clint Eastwood's best complete movie, the story of a man drawn into hell by the inhumanity of others (specifically, the Redlegs and the Senator), who is redeemed by the humanity of others (the settlers, Lone Wattie and Ten Bears) to recover some semblance of a life after the Civil War. Eastwood's acting is economical (but a far cry from the man-with-no-name character he made famous), and carries the story very well, and his directing style is practically invisible (which is exactly what it should be -- if the director does his job, you should never even notice his contribution). The viewer is entirely caught up in the story of the man. All in all, a brilliant bit of film from Eastwood (who clearly learned everything he could from his own directors, and then combined that knowledge into superb craftsmanship of his own.)

It is interesting to contrast the Jose Wales and Billy Munny (from Unforgiven) characters. Wales seeks to regain his humanity through others; Munny - having regained his humanity from being a Wales-like character at the beginning of the movie - descends willingly into a hell of his own choosing.

65 of 88 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Opening scene fails to connect? ilBuono
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