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
The pistol Ben (Gary Grimes) shows off to Tim (Charles Martin Smith) at the beginning of the movie and later kills his first man with during the saloon shootout, is a model 1858 Remington Army. See more »
During the final shootout, a cowboy clubs another from horseback using a rifle and the arresting cable to prevent the cowboy from falling under the horse can be seen. See more »
The most authentic western ever made, a great American history lesson!
Surely one of the best westerns of all-time, & has to be THE most authentic western ever made, I cannot think of another to match it. Carefully crafted screenplay, told it how it really was, the characters brilliantly played by everyone involved. But it's authenticity is what makes it so fascinating a film to watch, it literally transports you back in time, a real history lesson. Some great iconic one liners, 'Don't stand behind me, boy!' & 'Why put a name to something you might have to eat!?' Geoffrey Lewis, Billy Green Bush & Gary Grimes were riveting in their portrayals. Lewis's hard-man character, so sinister, you really did think, 'This guy is a psycho!!' Bush played the trail weary boss with such attitude it made you acutely aware the hardships & dangers these men faced for so little reward. Grime's naive young character was played to perfection. A great piece of American history, & I have to say, the violence is not overdone, nor is there too much of it, compared to many other western films. If this film is not stored somewhere in a State Library, well, it should be!
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