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The Castaway Cowboy (1974)

A Texas cowboy is rescued at sea by a 12-year-old boy. While he waits to return home, he decides to help out his rescuer's family.


Vincent McEveety


Don Tait (story & screenplay), Richard M. Bluel (story) (as Richard Bluel) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Garner ... Lincoln Costain
Vera Miles ... Henrietta MacAvoy
Robert Culp ... Calvin Bryson
Eric Shea ... Booton 'Little Maca' MacAvoy
Elizabeth Smith Elizabeth Smith ... Liliha (MacAvoy housekeeper)
Manu Tupou ... Kimo
Gregory Sierra ... Marruja (Bryson's henchman)
Shug Fisher ... Capt. Cary
Nephi Hannemann Nephi Hannemann ... Malakoma (witch doctor)
Lito Capiña Lito Capiña ... Leleo
Ralph Hanalei Ralph Hanalei ... Hopu
Kim Kahana ... Oka (as Kahana)
Lee Woodd Lee Woodd ... Palani
Luis Delgado Luis Delgado ... The Hatman (loses hat to Costain)
Buddy Joe Hooker ... Boatman taking Costain to ship


A Texas cowboy is rescued at sea by a 12-year-old boy. While he waits to return home, he decides to help out his rescuer's family.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A different kind of her came drifting into town...on a wave! See more »


Comedy | Family | Western


G | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

1 August 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hawaiian Cowboy See more »

Filming Locations:

Kaua'i, Hawaii, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The location of the Pacific Island was an isle in the "Sandwich Islands". This is another name for Hawaii as it was the name given to the Hawaiian Islands by English nautical explorer James Cook on 18th January 1778 when Cook became the first European to discover the territory. See more »


Lincoln Costain: 10,000 acres huh, that's a good size pea patch even where I come from.
Booton 'Little Maca' MacAvoy: Where's that?
Lincoln Costain: Texas. There you can ride a month in any direction and never touch a fence.
Booton 'Little Maca' MacAvoy: It must be beautiful.
Lincoln Costain: Oh, it is.
Booton 'Little Maca' MacAvoy: Costain, do you think you could ever like it here?
Lincoln Costain: No, no nah. This fruit bowl ain't for me. Some people might like it just fine, though.
Booton 'Little Maca' MacAvoy: Suppose you're going back to Texas huh?
Lincoln Costain: You bet
Booton 'Little Maca' MacAvoy: Got a wife there?
See more »

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User Reviews

Cattle Come to Kaui
14 September 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Having been to Hawaii and actually going through the famous Parker ranch on the big island, I'm in a better position to comment on this film now than before.

The Castaway Cowboy is one of two films James Garner made for the Disney studio in the Seventies. He's a Texas cowboy who got himself shanghaied in San Francisco and jumped ship and washed ashore on Kaui. Right into the arms of widow Vera Miles and her son Eric Shea who are struggling to make a living as farmers.

A lot of wild cattle keep trampling up their crops. So Garner gets the idea that they ought to start cattle ranching instead. Of course the Hawaiian farm hands don't readily take to the American cowboy culture. Of course they eventually do in the end.

Cattle came to Hawaii courtesy of British explorer George Vancouver who left them on the big island. It was the descendants of those cattle with which John Parker founded his ranch. No doubt some of them made it to the smaller islands in the chain.

Of course there's a villain in the piece and it's Robert Culp. He's a banker with eyes to grab Vera Miles land and maybe Vera herself. Culp does resist the tendency to model his performance on Snidely Whiplash and he's a worthy rival of the resourceful Garner.

Of course there are paternalistic attitudes towards the native Hawaiians. But if you want to see a serious film about those attitudes than watch the film made of James Michener's novel Hawaii. This is a Disney family product and doesn't pretend to be social commentary.

The Castaway Cowboy is a good entertainment. How could it be anything else with James Garner starring.

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