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The Cowboys (1972)

When his cattle drivers abandon him for the gold fields, rancher Wil Andersen is forced to take on a collection of young boys as his drivers in order to get his herd to market in time to ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Kate
Alfred Barker Jr. ...
Fats - Cowboy
Nicolas Beauvy ...
Dan - Cowboy
Steve Benedict ...
Steve - Cowboy
...
Slim Honeycutt - Cowboy
...
Weedy - Cowboy (as Norman Howell Jr.)
...
Charlie Schwartz - Cowboy (as Stephen Hudis)
Sean Kelly ...
Stuttering Bob - Cowboy
...
Clay O'Brien ...
Hardy Fimps - Cowboy
Sam O'Brien ...
Jimmy Phillips - Cowboy
Mike Pyeatt ...
Homer Weems - Cowboy
Edit

Storyline

When his cattle drivers abandon him for the gold fields, rancher Wil Andersen is forced to take on a collection of young boys as his drivers in order to get his herd to market in time to avoid financial disaster. The boys learn to do a man's job under Andersen's tutelage; however, neither Andersen nor the boys know that a gang of cattle thieves is stalking them. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The youngest was nine. There wasn't one of them over fifteen. At first, he couldn't stand the sight of them. At last, he couldn't take his eyes away. See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 January 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cowboys  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$7,500,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)| (some 35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The tune that is played on guitar at the camp fire is "Guitar Concerto in D Major" by Antonio Vivaldi. See more »

Goofs

When Mr. Andersen is in the school, he puts a mark for Belle Fouche, SD on the board. He states his ranch is here, 400 miles away, and he draws a line headed NW of Belle Fouche. This would place him about Lewistown, MT. It is doubtful that Mr. Andersen would travel 400 miles to Belle Fouche, when Bozeman and Billings are both much closer, and in dire need of beef. The first big herd of cattle didn't come to MT until after the war (1866) so there was no way that they would have taken them east to send them further east. See more »

Quotes

Hardy Fimps: I never noticed before, but most of the people I know are quiet compared to Mr. Andersen.
Charles 'Slim' Honeycutt: He's quiet... it just comes out loud.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

The Star Spangled Banner
(uncredited)
Music by John Stafford Smith
Lyrics by Francis Scott Key
Sung by school children
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Big mouth doesn't make a big man."

Wil Andersen (John Wayne) is an aging rancher who traveled 30 miles that day and didn't find a single hand that could throw in with him…

Anse Petersen (Slim Pickens) suggests to his best friend to hire local teenagers as cowboys for his 400-mile cattle drive… So, in the morning the children came very early to put in for the job… Obviously, nobody of them has been on a cattle drive…

For a cook, Wil hires a black man, Jedediah Nightlinger (Roscoe Lee Browne), who asked to be paid $125 knowing he should be got flooded out, stampeded out, frozen out or scalped by wild Red Indians…

However, a group of rustlers led by Asa Watts (Bruce Dern), the man with the long hair, came looking for work… But they were lying … They were after Andersen's 1,500 head of cattle…

One day, Andersen knew that Watts and his gang have been paralleling him for the herd… He also knew as soon as it's dark they'll be coming in… He doesn't know how rough they'll get… But right now they think they're one man and a bunch of kids…

When Jedediah falls behind with a broken wheel on the chuck wagon, Asa makes his move for the herd, engaging Wil in vicious fight…

There is a funny scene when two of the children meet on the trail a traveling bordello madam led by Colleen Dewhurst… And a touching scene where all the boys steal a whiskey bottle and have a little party, discussing the various attributes of their cooker, and his pretty independent character…

Filled with exciting adventure, gentle amusement, visually stunning photography, but most importantly how to want to see these children growing up so quickly, "The Cowboys" stands simply as one of John Wayne's best Westerns…


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