7.2/10
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67 user 24 critic

Will Penny (1967)

Approved | | Romance, Western | 10 April 1968 (USA)
Aging cowboy Will Penny gets a line camp job on a large cattle spread and finds his isolated cabin is already occupied by a husbandless woman and her young son.

Director:

Tom Gries

Writer:

Tom Gries
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlton Heston ... Will Penny
Joan Hackett ... Catherine Allen
Donald Pleasence ... Preacher Quint
Lee Majors ... Blue
Bruce Dern ... Rafe Quint
Ben Johnson ... Alex - Flat Iron Ranch Foreman
Slim Pickens ... Ike Walterstein
Clifton James ... Catron
Anthony Zerbe ... Dutchy
Roy Jenson ... Boetius Sullivan
G.D. Spradlin ... Anse Howard
Quentin Dean ... Jennie
William Schallert ... Dr. Fraker
Lydia Clarke ... Mrs. Fraker
Robert Luster Robert Luster ... Shem Bodine
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Storyline

Will Penny, an aging cowpoke, takes a "line-rider" job on a vast cattle ranch requiring him to keep trespassers and squatters moving until they're off the property. Ironically, he discovers that the mountain cabin reserved for the line rider has been appropriated by Catherine Allen and her young son, Horace, whose guide has deserted them en route to Oregon to join Catherine's husband. Too soft-hearted and ashamed to kick mother and child out just as the bitter Rocky Mountains winter sets in, he agrees to share the cabin until the spring thaw. But it isn't just the snow that slowly thaws; lonely man and woman soon forget their considerable dissimilarities and start developing a deep, if awkward and unstated, love for each another. Beyond this, Horace finds in Will the father he's never known, and Will finds in Horace the son he's never known he's wanted. The trio's little refuge is then invaded by Bible-quoting preacher Quint and his murderous family of "rawhiders", who'd earlier ... Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He was a shy and lonely man, but he could LOVE! See more »

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 April 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

...E o Bravo Ficou Só See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

First credited film role for Lee Majors. He appeared uncredited in Strait-Jacket (1964). See more »

Goofs

During the fight between Will Penny and the Quint family, one of the brothers throws a knife into Penny's chest. A wire attached to the knife a very obvious. See more »

Quotes

Dutchy: I think I got bugs.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ben Johnson: Third Cowboy on the Right (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

The Lonely Rider
Music by David Raksin
Lyrics by Robert Wells
Sung by Don Cherry
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pretentious... Uncommon... Extraordinary adult Western!
27 May 2000 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

The tough, lonely life of the cattle drover (as it really was) is briefly related in the ideal opening scene of Tom Gries' "Will Penny" with an aching Charlton Heston compelled, at the end of an exhausting cattle drive, to take a humble winter job in the cold bleak hillside... His turbulent, crude, oppressive - virtually celibate existence - is marvelously exposed by Gries...

Heston portrays with honesty and sensitivity, a middle-aged cowhand "free and easy" who ignores everything about farming... He is a lonely rider who takes his bath eight or nine times a year, and mends his own clothes... He is a "good steady hand" concerned for Mrs. Allen and her son but "bad scared before, and bad sorry after." He is also a helpless man with uncertain future, a sincere cowboy extremely sensitive...

"Will Penny" is an extraordinary film... Not only does it feature Heston's most sincere and sensitive performance, it has a fine supporting cast and is one of the most adult Western scripts ever written...

Joan Hackett portrays Mrs. Allen with strength and dignity, never collapsing beneath the strain of her tribulations...

Donald Pleasance is the most dastardly villain to grace the screen in many long years... He is mean, unkind, and slightly insane... Bruce Dern is equally effective as one of his sons, the psychotic who "handles a knife just fine."

Realistically spared, "Will Penny" is a straightforward and honest film, a sincere attempt to recreate the Old West, and, more important, the "mighty good men" who lived therein...


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