6.8/10
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56 user 39 critic

Junior Bonner (1972)

PG | | Drama, Western | 2 August 1972 (USA)
Ace Bonner returns to Arizona several years after he abandoned his family, Junior Bonner is a wild young man. Against the typical rodeo championship, family drama erupts.

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Junior Bonner
... Ace Bonner
... Elvira Bonner
... Buck Roan
... Curly Bonner
... Charmagne
... Ruth Bonner
... Red Terwiliger (as William McKinney)
... Del
Sandra Deel ... Nurse Arlis
... Homer Rutledge (as Donald Barry)
... Burt (as Charles Gray)
Matthew Peckinpah ... Tim Bonner
Sundown Spencer ... Nick Bonner
Rita Garrison ... Flashie
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Storyline

A week with Junior Bonner, a rodeo pro on the wrong side of 40, broke, bruised, and headed into Prescott, his home town, for the annual 4th of July Frontier Days. His dad, Ace, is a dissolute dreamer fixed on finding gold in Australia; his mom is resigned to Ace's roving; his brother Curly is tearing up the countryside to make a million in real estate. Junior just wants to stay on a bucking Brahma for eight seconds, hang out with Ace, find a way to spend time with a beautiful woman whose eyes catch his, and earn enough to get to next week's rodeo. As the old West and its code give way to progress, Junior is lonesome, laconic, and on the road - just where he wants to be. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Tell 'em Junior sent you" See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

2 August 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Junior Bonner  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,200,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,900,000, 31 December 1972

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,800,000, 31 December 1972
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Peckinpah: for one fleeting shot, passing through the Palace Bar in the film. He appears immediately after Barbara Leigh's friend asks for "Three double bourbons" just before Steve McQueen asks her to dance. See more »

Goofs

During Junior's last bull ride, one of the shots shows him riding a different (smaller) bull. See more »

Quotes

Nurse Arlis: [Ace checks himself out of the hospital] You just can't walk out of here!
Ace Bonner: You see my feet on the floor, don't you Arlis? Now watch my legs make 'em move.
Nurse Arlis: But you're not well enough.
Ace Bonner: Oh, I'm heaven bound, sweetheart, but not today.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Grindhouse (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Arizona Morning
Words and Music by Rod Hart
Sung by Rod Hart
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User Reviews

 
"Junior Bonner"--quietness is its' asset
17 August 1999 | by See all my reviews

One of the main reasons why I enjoy this film is because of Steve McQueen's performance. Like other Peckinpah characters such as Pike Bishop (The Wild Bunch) and Steve Judd (Ride The High Country), McQueen's Junior Bonner is forced to confront change occurring to his Western surroundings, but is quietly determined to go on with his way of life. This is different from William Holden's Pike Bishop, who is vocal about his desire to survive historical change--"thinking beyond our guns," as he put it--and is more reflective than determined. Bonner, however, wants to succeed (even though there may not be much of a future left for him), but he is not very vocal about it. Bonner is the closest personification of the type of men of the Old West that Peckinpah mourned in his films, ones that did it--not said it and did it, but just DID IT. Junior desperately wants to win, enough to use questionable methods to get Buck Roan (Ben Johnson) have him ride Sunshine, the bull that previously defeated him, but he is silent on his chances. He just wants to successfully ride Sunshine, not expound on his possibility of winning. Throughout the film Junior is determined, but non-violently confrontational--his questioning of Curly's (Joe Don Baker) success at the expense of history, his revelation of his state to his father Ace (Robert Preston, in an excellent, colorful performance), his pursuit of Charmaine (Barbra Leigh). McQueen is superb at revealing various emotions by his facial expressions alone, and it's his low-key but internally energetic performance that endears me to this film. Along with "Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid" and "Ballad of Cable Hogue," one of Peckinpah's most underrated films.


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