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A Cowgirl's Story (2017)

PG | | Family | 13 April 2017 (USA)
1:11 | Trailer

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Seventeen-year-old Dusty Rhodes (Bailee Madison) goes to live with her grandfather (Pat Boone) because both of her Army parents are fighting in the Afghanistan war. Dusty attends a new high... See full summary »


Timothy Armstrong



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Credited cast:
Bailee Madison ... Dusty Rhodes
Chloe Lukasiak ... Savannah Stocker
Pat Boone ... Grandpa
Aidan Alexander ... Trevor
Froy Gutierrez ... Jason
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert W. Arbogast ... Pete Janson
Breanna Barton-Shaw Breanna Barton-Shaw ... Girl #2
Jade Bender ... Rasha
Chappell Bunch Chappell Bunch ... Girl in hallway
Macaulay Callard Macaulay Callard ... John
Corey L Carr Sr. Corey L Carr Sr. ... COP #1
Corey Carr Corey Carr ... Cop #1
Kikéy Castillo ... Nurse (as Kikey Castillo)
Alicia Coppola ... Lieutenant Helen Rhodes
Jake Davidson ... Blake


Seventeen-year-old Dusty Rhodes (Bailee Madison) goes to live with her grandfather (Pat Boone) because both of her Army parents are fighting in the Afghanistan war. Dusty attends a new high school where she makes friends with a group that includes Savanah (Chloe Lukasiak), a girl whose father also served in the Army. Dusty convinces her new friends into forming an equestrian drill team that allows them to perform at rodeos and parades. Dusty's world is turned upside down by the war when her mother's helicopter is shot down in action and she goes missing. To cope with her fear and helplessness, Dusty enlists the help of her grandfather and friends to put on a special riding performance for her parents and all of the soldiers fighting overseas. The entire town turns out in support of the event, and it becomes an unforgettable experience for everyone. Written by Samuel Goldwyn Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements


Official Sites:

Deadline | Just Jared Jr.





Release Date:

13 April 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Cowgirl See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rodeo Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Froy and Chloe both are allergic to horses See more »


When Dusty is first introduced to the class, one of the students makes a comment, to which Mrs. Preston responds to try to act their age and not their I.Q. as a way of telling them to "grow up." The correct phrase is to act their age and not their shoe size, as their shoe size is usually a lower number than their physical age while, in this case, their IQ would be much higher than their age. In essence, she was telling the student to act less mature, not more mature. See more »


Cowgirl Stomp
Lyrics by Maggie McClure and Timothy Armstrong. Music by Maggie McClure.
Performed by Maggie McClure.
©Maggie McClure Music, LLC and Rodeo Films, LLC.
See more »

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User Reviews

Refreshing look at teen friendship, military families, and faith in God
16 June 2017 | by CucFanSee all my reviews

A thoughtful script, well-detailed atmosphere, and the drive to honor our active duty military provide the backdrop for this believable, worthy film.

Bailee Madison's Dusty Rhodes, full of action and optimism, is a peacemaker, wanting to make friends in her new high school. Somewhat inexplicably, she doesn't find other students like herself but seemingly becomes determined to win over a group of girls who drink and don't even like her at first. Dusty is resilient, determined, earnest, hard-working, and protective of others, with a strong faith in God, but she is growing up and finding that life isn't always fair or good. How could a loving God allow these things to happen? Why are good people allowed to suffer? How do we maintain our hope and keep our faith strong in today's world? These are tough questions, and Dusty finds her faith shaken.

Luckily, Dusty has a grandfather, played with warmth and gentleness by Pat Boone, and his wise counsel holds Dusty together. His scenes were my favorites, as his character had the strength to put things right and step up for the people who needed him. His gallant charm is the heart of the movie. As a bonus, older audience members will remember his teen idol years with fondness and enjoy his character in this.

The third lead character, Savannah, adds a touch of grit and realism to Dusty's life. Savannah, unlike Dusty, doesn't have a stable, loving family: her father was killed in the war three years earlier, and she can no longer make ends meet. As a result, they are losing their home. Bitter, yet drawn to Dusty's welcoming friendliness in spite of herself, Savannah throws herself into the equestrian drill team that Dusty wants to form, and the two become good friends, along with Savannah's clique and a boy who works at the ranch. Chloe Lukasiak (of TV's "Dance Moms") plays Savannah with just the right nuances, providing a necessary sharpness to a movie that is almost too sweet at times. As Dusty becomes intrigued with Savannah and wants to know her better, we see a complicated girl who has her guard up, tough one moment with a fragile smile the next as she tries to cope with her problems. Her bitterness, we learn, is justified, and there are a few unexpected twists as her story-line pays out. I was impressed with the fearless way Lukasiak, a relative newcomer to acting, was capable of showing multiple layers and subtext, sometime with just her eyes or small movements.

The ranch scenes lend a beautiful setting and atmosphere as we see the teens bonding into a tight pack while working together on their common goal. Dusty's relationship with her horse provides an outlet for her anxiety and grief about her parents' deployment. Filmed on a real working ranch in Southern California, the scenes provide a backdrop as a sweet romantic relationship begins for one of the girls, while the other one finds a mutual attraction almost derailed by thoughtless banter. The neighs of the horses and open skies make the viewer feel like we've actually been to this place, and we can easily see how its charm and beauty worked magic on this group of teens.

Another favorite scene of mine was the school dance, as we see the group together in a social setting...and realizing that it's cool to be nice, too.

The script, as well as the movie itself, should have premiered and found a home on the Hallmark Channel, OWN, Disney, or any inspirational/ family-friendly network. Church youth groups would get a lot from it. Best of all, it is appropriate for all ages from children to senior citizens - without being overly sappy or predictable. It is rare these days to find a film in which God and faith are so openly discussed, and I found it refreshing.

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