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The Newton Boys (1998)

PG-13 | | Action, Crime, Drama | 27 March 1998 (USA)
0:29 | Trailer

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The story of the Newton gang, the most successful bank robbers in history, owing to their good planning and minimal violence.



(based on the book by), (screenplay by) | 2 more credits »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ma Newton
Jena Karam ...
Orphan Singer
Casey McAuliffe ...
Orphan Singer
Regina Mae Matthews ...
Orphan Fiddler
Charles Gunning ...
Glynn Williams ...
Farmer Williams
Charles 'Chip' Bray ...
Bank Teller
Avis Glasscock
Gary Moody ...
Crooked Banker


Four Newton brothers are a poor farmer family in the 1920s. The oldest of them, Willis, one day realizes that there's no future in the fields and offers his brothers to become a bank robbers. Soon the family agrees. They become very famous robbers, and five years later execute the greatest train robbery in American history. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Four brothers. Eighty banks. One hell of a good time. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence including bloody aftermath of a shooting, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

27 March 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Newton fiúk  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,010,245, 29 March 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$10,297,897, 17 May 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Matthew McConaughey plays the oldest of the 4 Newton brothers. In reality, Vincent D'Onofrio (who plays one of the brothers) is 10 years older than McConaughey. See more »


Brentwood and Joe watch Erich von Stroheim's Greed, in Canada, during what appears to be summer. Greed was not released until December of that year, and didn't see any wide release until late January of 1925. It's also doubtful that it would have made it to Canada any time before then. See more »


Willis Newton: This isn't a real job.
Jess Newton: It is real. It is real fun.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the credits roll, portions of two interviews are shown, each with one of the brothers. The interview with Joe Newton is from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: Episode #19.165 (1980); the interview with Willis Newton is from The Newton Boys: Portrait of an Outlaw Gang (1976). See more »


The Dream Waltz
Composed & performed by Mike Maddux
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User Reviews

Linklater...He knows how to do it
27 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

"The Newton Boys" begins as an old movie, with old wasted colors, kind of black and white. This is the way we meet the players (what actually are the actors), and together with a very happy music (that also seemed old), the credits are simple; maybe boring. "If the movie is in black and white, I won't watch it", said my friend Matías. In fact, the movie started and it was in colors, and very nice colors by the way.

We see Willis Newton (Matthew McConaughey) and before we notice we are in Texas; with the horses, ranches, and the cowboys that always seem good people when they mostly do bad things. Maybe it is because we love to hear them talking, and the cast of this movie is very convincing in that aspect. Soon Willis encounters two younger guys, riding some difficult horses. These are Jesse and Joe Newton (Ethan Hawke and Skeet Ulrich), also cowboys and Willis' brothers. Now we're living the true story of the Newton Brothers.

With the help of Brentwood Glasscock (Dwight Yoakam), alias Glass, and later with the last brother Dock's (Vincent D'Onofrio) collaboration, Willis and his gang robbed a lot of banks and one train that got them to their end. Well, not their end because, unlike any regular cowboy, the Newtons reached ages surpassing the 70 years.

With his writing partners, director Richard Linklater created his adapted vision of the story, located in the pages of Claude Stanush's book. His own vision of these enchanting cowboys that made up stories to beautiful women, drank a lot and lived a full life. Stanush, Linklater and Clark Walter achieved something wild in terms of screenplay, because I'm not sure if a man could live the situations these characters experience, but who knows? In other cowboy movies like "American Outlaws" these things occur, and it's all about the characters. In "Outlaws" it was the excellent Colin Farrell, now it is a whole talented ensemble.

I'm a fan of Richard Linklater's work. And admirer of his camera, settings, colors...The respect he has for his colorful characters, without caring how surreal they can be at times, when he is telling a real story. Led by McConaughey's Willis (who makes a more charismatic leading man than Farrell), usual in Linklater's filmography, Ethan Hawke follows, in good shape as always; he commits more with Linklater than with any director. Then we have a gifted Skeet Ulrich in one of his most natural and charming performances; he isn't getting many jobs today, but here it was a great work. As always, Vincent D'Onofrio sticks to what is requested of him. It is also to notice Dwight Yoakam's efforts, in his most remarkable appearance; now I won't forget about him. Everyone else fulfills, and the women I was talking about, Louise Brown has an important part, played convincingly by the always good Julianna Margulies.

It was some weeks ago, that a friend of mine told me he did a work about a director's filmography. He had chosen Woody Allen. I hadn't done the work, but he asked me: "Who would you choose?". "Richard Linklater", I answered.

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