Teenager Ben Mockridge feels life in a Wild West farm town has nothing better to offer than horse-cart racing with other hicks, so he naively begs cattle company owner Frank Culpepper to engage him as the youngest cowboy for a long cattle trail to a fort. His mother barely notices. Ben doesn't even seem to get it when he's told to report as 'little Mary' to the old cook, whose words, "Cowboy is something you do only if you have nothing better." gradually become clear. Instead of an exciting heroic macho life, it's endless hard work, dumb chores and embarrassment, even getting literally caught with his pants down, robbed of his horse, and witnessing unpunished crimes...Written by
With a single exception, all of the firearms shown and used were of 1870s or later manufacture and would not have been available to the cowboys. See more »
I want to go with you, Mr. Culpepper. I ride real good and I can do a lot of things. I mean, I'll work at almost anything, Mr. Culpepper. I really want to go.
Because I want to be a cowboy more than anything, Mr. Culpepper.
Well, that's one hell of an ambition, boy.
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"The only thing I like about this job is going into town, and getting out of town"
Others have summarized this film quite well. I would only add that it's unique in being the only good film I can readily remember that consists of nothing but supporting players. Not a star among 'em. Billy Bush Green, Geoffrey Lewis, Luke Askew, Bo Hopkins and many others are indelibly played, e.g., the stuttering barkeep who keeps a "genuine former virgin" in the back room; the Mexican cantina owner who keeps a rattlesnake in a jar and wins money from customers by betting they can't hold their hand against the glass when the snake strikes; the preacher who declares of the land his followers stop at as the "place God has chosen for us" until the shooting starts and he decides to move because "God was only testing us."
Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette it ain't. Catch it if you can.
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