7.4/10
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92 user 47 critic

The Cowboys (1972)

Trailer
3:08 | Trailer
Rancher Wil Andersen is forced to hire inexperienced boys as cowhands in order to get his herd to market on time but the rough drive is full of dangers and a gang of cattle rustlers is trailing them.

Director:

Mark Rydell

Writers:

William Dale Jennings (novel), Irving Ravetch (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Wil Andersen
Roscoe Lee Browne ... Jebediah Nightlinger
Bruce Dern ... Long Hair
Colleen Dewhurst ... Kate
Alfred Barker Jr. Alfred Barker Jr. ... Fats - Cowboy
Nicolas Beauvy Nicolas Beauvy ... Dan - Cowboy
Steve Benedict Steve Benedict ... Steve - Cowboy
Robert Carradine ... Slim Honeycutt - Cowboy
Norman Howell ... Weedy - Cowboy (as Norman Howell Jr.)
Stephen R. Hudis ... Charlie Schwartz - Cowboy (as Stephen Hudis)
Sean Kelly Sean Kelly ... Stuttering Bob - Cowboy
A Martinez ... Cimarron - Cowboy
Clay O'Brien ... Hardy Fimps - Cowboy
Sam O'Brien Sam O'Brien ... Jimmy Phillips - Cowboy
Mike Pyeatt Mike Pyeatt ... Homer Weems - Cowboy
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Storyline

When his cattle drivers abandon him for the gold fields, rancher Wil Andersen is forced to take on a collection of young boys as his drivers in order to get his herd to market in time to avoid financial disaster. The boys learn to do a man's job under Andersen's tutelage; however, neither Andersen nor the boys know that a gang of cattle thieves is stalking them. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All they wanted was their chance to be men...and he gave it to them. See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shortly before filming began John Wayne gave an interview with "Playboy" magazine in May 1971 which caused controversy over his views on the civil rights movement, the treatment of Native American Indians, and gay rights. See more »

Goofs

As the Cowboys are taking turns riding Crazy Alice a Flank Strap can be seen, causing Crazy Aice to buck and try to throw the riders off. In between rides, the flank Strap is gone. See more »

Quotes

Homer's Father: You have to go out and prove yourself in the world. I guess that's right.
See more »

Alternate Versions

When the film was originally released in the UK it carried a 'AA' rating, preventing an under-14 year old audience from seeing the movie. When the distributors asked the UK censor if this could be changed he suggested removing the scene with the wagon full of prostitutes, thus deleting Colleen Dewhurst's entire role in the film, and in doing so the film was re-certified with an 'A' rating (suitable for all). Additionally cuts were made to tone down some of the more violent scenes including the fight between Wil and Long Hair, the shooting of Wil, and a man being dragged by his horse. Later cinema showings and all video versions restored the Colleen Dewhurst scene but retained the violence cuts (totalling 1 min 30 secs). For the upgraded 12-rated 2005 DVD the film was passed fully uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Showdown at the Dirt Cheap Liquor & Grocery (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

The Star Spangled Banner
(uncredited)
Music by John Stafford Smith
Lyrics by Francis Scott Key
Sung by school children
See more »

User Reviews

 
The best of the Duke for everyone
14 March 2005 | by GEM-20See all my reviews

Obviously, John Wayne had a long and distinguished career in the movies. Of course, he was merely playing himself time after time. In this movie, that works wonderfully well.

He plays Wil Anderson, a man in his 60s with little else he can do but hire a classroom of boys to help with a cattle drive. This makes for a fun outing for anyone in any age group. Roscoe Lee Browne is well cast here. His scene with Colleen Dewhurst is very well played. Bruce Dern is great, too!

My son, who is a big fan of "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones", pointed out the John Williams music in "The Cowboys"; it is very good indeed.

"The Cowboys" is my choice for the movie to introduce people to John Wayne. It definitely makes you want to see more! Out of four stars, I rate it: ***.5


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

13 January 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Cowboys See more »

Filming Locations:

Durango, Colorado, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| 4-Track Stereo (some 35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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