7.4/10
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87 user 45 critic

The Cowboys (1972)

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3:12 | Trailer

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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 »
Reviews
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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

13 January 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cowboys See more »

Filming Locations:

Durango, Colorado, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$7,500,000
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wil Anderson and Jebediah Nightlinger always refer to each other as "Mister", never by their characters' first names. See more »

Goofs

It appears that the Double O ranch has two different brands. During roundup and later in the film, the cattle wear a brand of two distinct O's separated by about 12 inches. In the scene before they start the drive, one of the horses appears to have a brand consisting of two Os connected horizontally. This brand should be the same as the brand the cattle wear. In addition, the connected Os might be called a lazy 8. See more »

Quotes

Wil Andersen: I like to travel with a man I'm used to.
Jebediah Nightlinger: You'll get used to me.
See more »

Alternate Versions

During its roadshow release, the film featured - like most films shown in a roadshow format - an overture (heard on tape just before the film began), an intermission with entr'acte music, and exit music (heard after the film had ended). When the film went on general release, all of those elements were removed and the film was shown from beginning to end with no interruption. See more »


Soundtracks

Guitar Concerto in D, 2nd movement (Largo)
(uncredited)
Written by Antonio Vivaldi
Played by Slim and also heard during a scene of the drive
See more »

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User Reviews

John Wayne's good...Roscoe Lee Browne is better!
10 January 2003 | by musicninaSee all my reviews

This movie, for all that it's a fairly straight forward, shoot-em-up western, has some unique points that make it extremely artful. The boys were well-cast (though A. Martinez seemed to struggle in a role that was not fully developed), and those difficult psychological moments which were so important to the book translated to the screen without too much trouble. As is always the case, the book is able to take more time to expand upon the characters more thoroughly; if the movie left you a bit dry, visit the library to find the rest of the story!

The reasons I watch this show repeatedly are two of my favorite fellows: Roscoe Lee Browne and John Williams. Roscoe Lee Browne is able to sell lines that simply wouldn't work coming from somebody else (his dialogue with Coleen Dewhurst is priceless), and he is the unique feature that makes this film work. He graciously shares the screen with his co-actors as necessary, but he easily walks off with the movie nonetheless. John Williams' fantastic score could stand alone; though it is occasionally a little too cheery for the moment (after all, this is a pretty gruesome film, if you really think about it), it covers all the bases of the movie. Youthful innocence, becoming men, sorrow, success -- it's all right there in the score. Don't expect Star Wars music; frequently understated, the music carries a supporting role. As both John Williams and Roscoe Lee Browne displayed here, it is often the supporting actors that make the show a success!


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