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The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

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A Missouri farmer joins a Confederate guerrilla unit and winds up on the run from the Union soldiers who murdered his family.

Director:

Clint Eastwood

Writers:

Forrest Carter (book), Philip Kaufman (screenplay) (as Phil Kaufman) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,580 ( 620)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Josey Wales
Chief Dan George ... Lone Watie
Sondra Locke ... Laura Lee
Bill McKinney ... Terrill
John Vernon ... Fletcher
Paula Trueman ... Grandma Sarah
Sam Bottoms ... Jamie
Geraldine Keams ... Little Moonlight
Woodrow Parfrey ... Carpetbagger
Joyce Jameson ... Rose
Sheb Wooley ... Travis Cobb
Royal Dano ... Ten Spot
Matt Clark ... Kelly (as Matt Clarke)
John Verros John Verros ... Chato
Will Sampson ... Ten Bears
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Storyline

Josey Wales makes his way west after the Civil War, determined to live a useful and helpful life. He joins up with a group of settlers who need the protection that a man as tough and experienced as he is can provide. Unfortunately, the past has a way of catching up with you, and Josey is a wanted man. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...an army of one.

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Navajo | Spanish

Release Date:

7 August 1976 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Josey Wales See more »

Filming Locations:

Kayenta, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,700,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$31,800,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$38,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to legend, this film is based on the life of Thomas Atticus Hawkins, a Missouri farmer from Maries County. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where the two men with rifles have Jose they are using trapdoor Springfield rifles that weren't even made till 1866 a year after the civil war ended. It is unlikely at that time that anyone but the army had them. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Josey's wife: Little Josey! C'mon in, let's get you cleaned up!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema version was cut by 16 secs by the BBFC to edit the attempted rape of Laura Lee in order for the film to receive a 'AA' (14 and over) certificate. All later releases were upgraded to an '18' certificate and fully uncut. See more »

Connections

Featured in Reel Injun (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Rose of Alabamy
(uncredited)
Written by Silas Sexton Steel
Performed by Sam Bottoms
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Among The Best Westerns Of The 1970s
17 January 2007 | by virek213See all my reviews

Even when matched up against his Oscar-winning 1992 film UNFORGIVEN, THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES must rank as being among Clint Eastwood's finest turns both in front of and behind the camera. Having displayed a solid feel for the director's chair with 1971's PLAY MISTY FOR ME and 1973's HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER, Eastwood took the reins on JOSEY WALES when he and the original director Philip Kaufman, who still shared a co-write of the script (and had directed 1972's THE GREAT NORTHFIELD, MINNESOTA RAID), ran into some pretty strong disagreements. The end result was one of the best westerns of the 1970s, in critical, commercial, and artistic terms.

Eastwood's character is a farmer living out a quiet life in Missouri near the end of the Civil War who is forced to see his whole family and homestead wiped out by marauding "Redlegs" from Kansas. He joins up with a guerrilla band of Southerners to "set things aright." But when the Union betrays those same guerrillas into surrendering and then promptly slaughters all of them, Eastwood takes violent revenge. He soon finds himself of the run at the reluctant hands of his former commander (John Vernon), and a determined Union man named Terrill (Bill McKinney, who played one of the sadistic mountain men in DELIVERANCE). As he heads towards Texas, he encounters a motley group of outcasts (Chief Dan George; Sondra Locke; Paula Trueman), and becomes less obsessed by violent revenge and more interested in helping, going for his guns only when McKinney's Union troop closes in, and bounty hunters come looking for him.

In contrast to the "Man With No Name" persona he codified with Sergio Leone in the 1960s, or the tough cop he personified in DIRTY HARRY, Eastwood's Josey Wales is a man of great courage and sympathy who becomes tired of all the violence he has had to see and to take part in. The vengeance motif is largely played out by the time the film is into its second half, and it only comes back towards the tail end for a brief moment. Those who have tagged Eastwood as a political reactionary, a John Wayne of our time, have certainly misjudged him, as even one viewing of THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES will testify to. He is not interested in being tough for the sake of being tough; he just wants to survive, and he wants those he protects to be able to live in peace. That's why, although the film is unavoidably violent at times, it has a considerable humanity too, and why it remains one of Eastwood's finest films even to this day.


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