6.4/10
2,332
30 user 19 critic

Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969)

In 1909, when young Paiute Indian Willie Boy returns to his California reservation to be with Lola, whose father disapproves of him, a killing in self defense takes place, triggering a massive man hunt for Willie.

Director:

Abraham Polonsky

Writers:

Harry Lawton (book), Abraham Polonsky
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A story of two motorcycle racers, the inept, unsuspecting Little Fauss (Michael J. Pollard) and the opportunistic, womanizing Halsey Knox (Redford).

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Robert Redford, Michael J. Pollard, Lauren Hutton
Certificate: M/PG Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Quietly cocky Robert Redford joins U.S. ski team as downhill racer and clashes with the team's coach, played by Gene Hackman. Lots of good skiing action leading to an exciting climax.

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Robert Redford, Gene Hackman, Camilla Sparv
The Hot Rock (1972)
Certificate: GP Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Dortmunder and his pals plan to steal a huge diamond from a museum. But this turns out to be only the first time they have to steal it...

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Robert Redford, George Segal, Ron Leibman
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A biplane pilot who had missed flying in WWI takes up barnstorming and later a movie career in his quest for the glory he had missed, eventually getting a chance to prove himself in a film ... See full summary »

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Robert Redford, Bo Svenson, Bo Brundin
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The dramatic love story of small-town Mississippi girl Alva Starr and railroad official Owen Legate, set during the Great Depression.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Natalie Wood, Robert Redford, Charles Bronson
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A tomboy turned movie star deals with the cruelty of Hollywood.

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Natalie Wood, Christopher Plummer, Robert Redford
War Hunt (1962)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Dispatched to the front lines during the Korean War, an idealistic American soldier discovers the horrors of combat and comes at odds with a psychopathic member of his platoon.

Director: Denis Sanders
Stars: John Saxon, Charles Aidman, Sydney Pollack
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A rodeo star past his prime steals his company's horse and rides into the desert, with a feisty reporter accompanying him.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Valerie Perrine
The Chase (1966)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The escape of Bubber Reeves from prison affects the inhabitants of a small Southern town.

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford
Brubaker (1980)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The new warden of a small prison farm in Arkansas tries to clean it up of corruption after initially posing as an inmate.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Robert Redford, Yaphet Kotto, Morgan Freeman
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

During World War II, two Americans are forced to bail out and parachute into a small German town. Herr Frick, being equal parts patriotic and lonely, keeps them as prisoners of war in his ... See full summary »

Director: Gottfried Reinhardt
Stars: Alec Guinness, Mike Connors, Robert Redford
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In the Old West, a gunfighting outlaw connives his way into a prison in hopes of getting his hands on a large shipment of gold stored there.

Directors: Vic Morrow, Giorgio Gentili
Stars: James Garner, Dennis Weaver, Claude Akins
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... Cooper
Katharine Ross ... Lola
Robert Blake ... Willie
Susan Clark ... Liz
Barry Sullivan ... Calvert
John Vernon ... Hacker
Charles Aidman ... Benby
Charles McGraw ... Wilson
Shelly Novack Shelly Novack ... Finney
Robert Lipton ... Newcombe
Lloyd Gough ... Dexter
Ned Romero ... Tom
John Wheeler John Wheeler ... Newman
Erik Holland Erik Holland ... Digger (as Eric Holland)
Garry Walberg ... Dr. Mills
Edit

Storyline

Based on true events, Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, tells the story of one of the last Western manhunts, in 1909. Willie Boy, a Native American, kills his girlfriend's father in self defense, and the two go on the run, pursued by a search posse led by Sheriff Christopher Cooper. Written by Jon Hertzberg <jahertzb@students.wisc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Who gives a d--- about Indians? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 January 1970 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Willie Boy See more »

Filming Locations:

Pioneertown, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$6,000,000, 31 December 1969
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Abraham Polonsky said to a USC film class at the time that he purposely shot and edited the manhunt sequences with characters moving in all directions across the screen, rather than in the usual way wherein both runners and pursuers would move in the same direction across the shots (i.e., left to right) to enhance the impression of urgent suspense in a chase. Instead, Polonsky was looking for a different feel for the audience, of the characters wandering, feeling their way through the landscape. He implied he was willing to sacrifice some suspense to externalize the characters' confusion. He also said that for Katharine Ross' brief, artfully lit nude shot, he exposed the film correctly but then produced a high-contrast copy of the same film frames with deep blacks and transparent lights, then bi-packed both pieces of films together to rephotograph. The high-contrast overlay ensured that the shadows on Ross' body were black--so that the image could not reveal more in the shadows than it was supposed to. See more »

Goofs

Many of the shirts worn by the men throughout the film are in the style of modern shirts. They have buttons that run their full length in the front and can be put on by pulling them over and around the shoulders. These types of shirts were not manufactured until the 1920s, about a decade after the 1909 setting of the film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tom: Did you see that crazy Calvert go by?
Willie Boy: Ate his dust.
Tom: When did you get back to Banning, Willie Boy?
Willie Boy: Five o'clock freight.
Tom: Goin' to the fiesta?
Willie Boy: Is that where you're goin', Tom?
Tom: Trailin' Mr. Calvert with a tow just in case he breaks down - or breaks his neck.
Willie Boy: Well, I guess that's where I'm goin'.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Beautiful Girls (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Fascinating film!
23 May 2002 | by richards1052See all my reviews

I guess the cable companies have rediscovered this film in light of Robert Blake's legal woes. And I'm glad they did. It's an extraordinary example of filmmaking. Though not w/o its share of mistakes & weaknesses, they are all honestly come by.

The film covers several genres & comments upon them in interesting ways: it is a Western w. conventional themes (turned upside down & inside out) of Indian savages vs. white civilizers; it is a historical drama that chronicles the rise to power of the industry elites in late 19th century CA. (illustrated in the subplot of Pres. Taft's visit to the Riverside Inn). While this is a Western, it might be better termed an anti Western. Every character (including Blake's Indian) is weak, vacillating & morally changeable, which makes for a wonderfully complex tale.

Blakes dialogue gives us the film's title: "Well, at least they'll know that Willie Boy was here." He says this in responding to Katherine Ross' comment asking why he is willing to keep running, even though the whites will eventually trap & kill him. This scene conveys the film's elegaic tone about the death of the "romantic" West & the rise of the homogenized, white, industrial CA. that would arise in the 20th century. Willie is compelled to stand up for his own individuality even though in actuality few will mourn his passing & even fewer remember that "he was here." But Polonsky, the filmmaker, tells us that someone will indeed remember Willie beyond those tracking him down & exterminating him: Polonsky himself & the viewers of the film. Really cool stuff!

Another powerful layer of history is Abraham Polonsky's involvement. As a Hollywood 10 member, the script seems to comment indirectly on the Hollywood Blacklist era. Blake the hounded Indian is much like the renegades of the Hollywood 10. Willie Boy tries to stand up for the principle of honor & freedom in the face of insurmountable social odds. Yet, he is never seen as a romanticized or one sided character. Even Willie Boy is pig headed, monomaniacal and self-destructive.

I think Blake does a great job in this role. It makes you remember how good he could be in film roles (remember "In Cold Blood?") before "Baretta" came along. And it makes you weep for his recent descent into hell & wonder at what might have been if his life & career had taken diff. turns.

I didn't mind Katherine Ross as much as some viewers. She was much less bothersome & stereotypical than in some of her other roles ("The Graduate" & "Butch Cassidy"). During the film I was actually realizing how much I liked her in her role which surprised me.

I highly recommend this film.


32 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 30 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed