7.2/10
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64 user 24 critic

Will Penny (1967)

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:

The brute in every man was also in him... And the love and the violence! 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 »
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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

Charlton Heston said of Writer and Director Tom Gries in his 1995 autobiography "In the Arena: An Autobiography": Gries was "a gifted, mercurial, oddly unpredictable, and somewhat childlike man. He was not a good captain, which a great director must be given the right material Gries excelled." 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

Blue: [to Dutchy] Hell, one job's all I need. Sharin' a blanket don't make us married.
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

a forgotten classic
19 June 2002 | by MichaelM24See all my reviews

Not many people think of WILL PENNY when they think of the great westerns, but it certainly deserves to be remembered. A simple tale of an aging cowboy (Charlton Heston) being nursed back to health by a woman (Joan Hackett), and then having to protect her and her young son (Jon Gries, son of the director) from the slimy characters who left him to die, the film is headlined by a wonderful, understated performance from screen veteran Heston, undoubtedly one of his finest. Joan Hackett also gives a great, if somehow delicate, performance. Donald Pleasence is a delight as always as the sadistic Preacher Quint, and there's good support from Lee Majors (in his major film role), Anthony Zerbe and Ben Johnson (both of whom, sadly, never really get to do much), character actor Slim Pickens in a small role, and Bruce Dern in one of his countless villain parts. And Gries is good as the boy.

The cinematography is beautiful, especially once the story moves to the snow-covered terrain where much of the film plays out. A little slow at first, but the pacing soon picks up and moves nicely. My only complaint is that the film's score is at times overbearing and distracting, but not enough to ruin the enjoyment of the film. All together, a fine little gem of a movie that should be remembered if AFI ever does a 100 Greatest Westerns special.


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