6.8/10
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Cowboy (1958)

Approved | | Western | 23 March 1958 (Japan)
An idealistic tenderfoot Chicago hotel clerk is taken on a cattle-drive to Mexico by famous trail boss Tom Reece but discovers that cowboy life isn't what he expected.

Director:

Delmer Daves

Writers:

Frank Harris (book), Edmund H. North (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Glenn Ford ... Tom Reese
Jack Lemmon ... Frank Harris
Anna Kashfi ... Maria Vidal / Arriega
Brian Donlevy ... Doc Bender - Trail Hand
Dick York ... Charlie - Trail Hand
Víctor Manuel Mendoza ... Paco Mendoza - Ramrod
Richard Jaeckel ... Paul Curtis
King Donovan ... Joe Capper - Trail Hand
Vaughn Taylor ... Mr. Fowler - Chicago Hotel Manager
Donald Randolph Donald Randolph ... Senor Vidal - Maria's Father
James Westerfield ... Mike Adams
Eugene Iglesias ... Don Manuel Arriega
Frank DeKova ... Alcaide (as Frank de Kova)
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Storyline

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 <rjmourinha@mail.telepac.pt>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A REAL WESTERN! It's really the best...because it's really the West! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 March 1958 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Frontier See more »

Filming Locations:

Lawton, Oklahoma, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Duning's soundtrack uses themes from traditional western and Mexican folk tunes. See more »

Goofs

When Reese arrives at the hotel and orders hot water for a bath, the bellboy brings in pails of water and pours them in the tub. But none of the pails of water are steaming, so they are clearly not hot. See more »

Quotes

Doc Bender, Trailhand: What about this fellow Reece?
Paul Curtis: He's all right if you're all right.
Doc Bender, Trailhand: When does he pay off? At the end of the run?
Paul Curtis: You ask him for what's coming in the middle a river crossing, and he'll pay you off. He'll pay you off in dry bills.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Dennis the Menace: Dennis Goes to the Movies (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
Music by George N. Allen
Frequently referenced in George Duning's musical score
See more »

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User Reviews

Based on a Victorian era piece of pornography
22 March 2002 | by jeffhill1See all my reviews

I first saw "Cowboy" as a late night movie on television when I was a high school senior. I really enjoyed the saga of how innocent, naive Chicago bell-hop Jack Lemmon becomes a man by way of his great adventure of driving a herd of cows from a Mexican ranch to the Chicago stock yards so that he can then swagger into the same Chicago hotel this time not as a bellboy in a monkey suit, but as a trail dust covered, gun tooting cowboy. I enjoyed it so much that I took note of the TV Guide notation that "Cowboy" is based on what it termed the "scandalous auto-biography of Frank Harris", the name of the character that Jack Lemmon plays in "Cowboy". I figured that the book was considered "scandalous" because of all the brutal experiences that Frank Harris had on the trail: experiences which has the Glenn Ford character growling at Jack Lemmon, "You haven't gotten tough. You've just gotten miserable." Therefore, when summer vacation arrived, I went to the public library and looked up "Harris, Frank" in their card catalogue. (You see, kids, before there were computers, we used to look up things on rows of things called "cards" which were kept in these wooden pull-out things called "drawers" in a large furniture-like wooden thing placed in the middle of the library that was called a "catalogue") I found a card listing a book entitled, "My Life and Loves by Frank Harris." But the book was not on a shelf, so I went to the front desk that Friday evening and innocently asked the ladies there if I could put a reserve on "The Frank Harris autobiography" for when it came back. One of the ladies asked me, "What is the title?" I was too embarrassed to say, "My Life and Loves" so I shyly said, "It's an autobiography. Frank Harris." The woman repeated, "But what is the title?" So I shrugged, "Well, the title is, 'My Life and Loves'" A younger woman in the cluster said like someone in a film noir, "We have that in the back" and went to get it. I kept wondering, "Why all this intrigue about the story of Jack Lemmon as a cowboy?"

The young woman brought out a rather large, rather heavy volume which I signed out. But instead of being the cowboy adventure story I had expected, it began with something like, "I remember my first sensual experience as being when I was 5 years old and I touched the calf of Mary Peterson in ...." It took some searching to find the short segment within Frank Harris' some 900 pages of pornographic remembrances of every sexual experience he had ever had between the ages of 5 and 50, which had something to do with his one-time only escapade of joining up with a bunch of guys who went over the border to Mexico, stole some cows, and drove them north to make a few fast bucks.


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