24 user 16 critic

Rancho Deluxe (1975)

Two drifters, of widely varying backgrounds, rustle cattle and try to avoid being caught in contemporary Montana.


Frank Perry


Thomas McGuane

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Bridges ... Jack McKee
Sam Waterston ... Cecil Colson
Elizabeth Ashley ... Cora Brown
Clifton James ... John Brown
Slim Pickens ... Henry Beige
Charlene Dallas ... Laura Beige
Harry Dean Stanton ... Curt
Richard Bright ... Burt
Patti D'Arbanville ... Betty Fargo
Maggie Wellman ... Mary Fargo
Joe Spinell ... Mr. Colson (as Joseph Spinell)
Bert Conway Bert Conway ... Wilbur Fargo
Anthony Palmer Anthony Palmer ... Karl
Richard McMurray Richard McMurray ... Mr. McKee
Danna Hansen Danna Hansen ... Mrs. McKee


Jack McKee (Jeff Bridges) and Cecil Colson (Sam Waterston) are bumbling drifters who make a living by rustling cattle in the wilds of Montana. Jack left his wealthy parents because he resented their posh lives. Cecil is of Caucasian and Native American descent seeking his own path in life away from his grumpy cowboy father (Joe Spinell). Both Jack and Cecil hustle and rustle their way in the world by targeting cattle owned by wealthy ranch-owner John Brown (Clifton James). Frustrated that someone is killing his cattle, John hires a pair of ranch hands, Burt and Curt (Richard Bright and Harry Dean Stanton), to find the rustlers. When Brown realizes he cannot trust his two inept ranch hands, he turns to the grizzled former rustler Henry Beige (Slim Pickens) to find the cattle thieves. Jack and Cecil always stay a step ahead of their pursuers, not realizing that their luck must run out sometime. Written by matt-282

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Oh give me a home, with a low interest loan, A cowgirl and two pickup trucks. A color TV, all the beer should be free, And that, man, is Rancho Deluxe.


R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

14 March 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amigos e Aventureiros See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (DeLuxe Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Frank Perry gave Joe Spinell an engraved horseshoe for playing Mr. Colson in the film after production on the movie wrapped. See more »


Wilbur Fargo: [after catching Jack and Cecil in bed with his daughters] Good and evil is one subject I'm slow to tolerate.
Jack McKee: That's two subjects.
See more »


Countin' the Cows Ev'ry Day
Performed by Jimmy Buffett
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Wacky fun on the high plains
3 December 2003 | by vfrickeySee all my reviews

Rancho Deluxe is a wryly skewed take on the Western as only Tom McGuane could have made it; the protagonists are cattle rustlers, the ranchers are wealthy, new money dilettantes with sexually frustrated wives, and the marshal from out of town is an old railroad detective who knows a good gig when he has one, and spins it out as long as he can, which means he does a masterful job of NOT catching the rustlers for as long as he can.

That's the plot, and Tom McGuane presents it in a masterfully understated script which captures the laconic silences of the plains as well as the craziness of the honkytonks and the loopiness of doped-up rustlers and their girlfriends. Law and Order's Sam Waterston steals the movie as the chronically stoned/drunk Native American rustler (one wonders if this cast was in small part an homage to the old-timey Westerns in which Jewish actors were cast as Injuns), even though Jeff Bridges is in the dramatic foreground most of the movie.

Waterston puts in an effortlessly authentic performance as someone who is content to watch life rush on by as he rolls in the turf with his lady, and pot the odd steer with that great "cattleman's carbine" cap and ball black powder rifle he and Bridges' character use to ply their trade.

This movie has a wonderful Jimmy Buffett score - "Livingston Saturday Night" sets the frenetic honkytonk scene admirably, while the other scenes have more soulful, reflective Buffett songs in the background.

I'll be honest, I watched the movie BECAUSE McGuane's brother-in-law Buffett wrote and performed the score, but I found myself drawn into the plot and interested in the fate of the characters, in a sort of laid-back way. By modern film standards the pace of this film definitely lags, but it was shot in the 1970s, back when this was not the major sin against commercial film-making that it is now.

"Laid-back" is the right term to sum this movie up - it was very much a creature of its mid-Seventies origins. It's a mood movie, good for those evenings when you're not up for car chases, tense emotional scenes, or side-splitting laughter. And the soundtrack rocks.

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