The French as Seen by...: Season 1, Episode 2

The Cowboy and the Frenchman (1988)
"Les Français vus par" The Cowboy and the Frenchman (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | Drama | War
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 585 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 1 critic

Little seen short film by David Lynch is set on a ranch in the turn-of-the-20th Century Wild West, USA is a collision of cultures where a grizzled, hard-of-hearing cowboy, Silm, and his two... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Slim
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Rick Guillory ...
Howdy
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Gun Twirler
Marie Laurin ...
Eddy Dixon ...
Magali Alvarado ...
Ann Sophie ...
Robyn Sumners ...
Kathy Dean ...
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Manette LaChance ...
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Little seen short film by David Lynch is set on a ranch in the turn-of-the-20th Century Wild West, USA is a collision of cultures where a grizzled, hard-of-hearing cowboy, Silm, and his two friends, Dusty and Pete, capture a mysterous, well-dressed Frenchman. Unable to understand each other, the fast-talking, slang-speaking cowboys and the non-English speaking Frenchman make the most of the situation while an Indian, named Broken Feather, joins the group and sets it into a perfect harmony with songs and dancing. Written by Anonymous

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Documentary | Drama | War

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1988 (France)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Lynch's funniest film, almost without trying
4 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Cowboy and the Frenchman, which is included among the lot of the director's short films (some from his days before Eraserhead and some he's done since Mulholland Drive), is so Lynchian if you've only seen one of his films- particularly Wild at Heart or Lost Highway- you could tell who made it. Though it doesn't make it any less strange, it also happens to be his funniest film, with the long takes long enough to capture the awkwardness of the cowboys with their 'captive' Frenchman, and an assortment of strung-together stereotypes. Anything clichéd about French people, or cowboys for that matter, is exploited to a very funny effect. In a way it's funny at times like a Jim Jarmusch film is, in pointing to the differences and lack of communication as something very human and interesting. It's not as 'artsy' as Eraserhead (though with a little nod to that film there are singing faces in the sky), and it takes its time to lead up to ridiculously no point. But it's shot in a very cool black and white film (or maybe video, who knows), some neat shots, and the added plus of the great character actor Harry Dean Stanton among the cast of nobody's (save for Lynch regular Jack Nance). If you can find it, likely among other Lynch shorts or online, it's worth a view. It's an absurd shot of American versus European versus Native American pathos, containing the most morbid though not-too-dreamlike moments of Lynch's films.


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