Chicago hotel clerk Frank Harris dreams of making his fortune in the cattle business. He gets his chance when, the father of the Mexican woman he loves breaks off their relationship and Frank bankrolls cattleman Tom Reece to be able to join him on a cattle buying trip to Mexico. Soon, though, the tenderfoot finds out the reality of life on the trail as a cowboy is not what he expected.Written by
Jorge Mourinha <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
Music by George N. Allen
Frequently referenced in George Duning's musical score See more »
A Good Realistic Western
As one of the other reviewers pointed out, this whole film is based on a few lines of an autobiography where the protagonist Frank Harris joins a group of cattle RUSTLERS for a spell. So in fact that as tough as Glenn Ford and his crew are, at least they're on the right side of the law.
Also Frank Harris is probably best known for the first definitive life of Oscar Wilde. And Harris like Wilde was born in Ireland. Might have been nice if Jack Lemmon had played him with a brogue.
Another reviewer pointed out that Jack Lemmon did not fit into the western film. True enough, but in fact this is the story of a tenderfoot who goes on a cattle drive and has quite the adventure.
Still and all Cowboy is a pretty good realistic western about life on a cattle drive. These drovers aren't any kind of heroic, but they do the job that has to be done. Jack Lemmon's ideas about cowboys are taken from the dime novels of the period. He gets rid of his romantic notions, but fast.
Among the supporting cast Brian Donlevy comes off best as the world weary former town marshal who joins the drive to get away from his job and meets a tragic end.
Cowboy came out in 1958 which was the height of Glenn Ford's career. Ford did some of the best westerns of the 1950s and Cowboy ranks right up there.
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