The Cowboys

4.4 9
Director: Mark Rydell

Cast: John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Bruce Dern


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Western legend John Wayne heads back to the ranch as a grizzled cowboy assisted by 11 schoolboys on a grueling 400-mile cattle drive in this exciting Western, arriving on DVD from Warner Home Video. Presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen theatrical aspect ratio and featuring an option of either closed-captioned English Dolby Digital 5.1 or French Dolby Digital…  See more details below


Western legend John Wayne heads back to the ranch as a grizzled cowboy assisted by 11 schoolboys on a grueling 400-mile cattle drive in this exciting Western, arriving on DVD from Warner Home Video. Presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen theatrical aspect ratio and featuring an option of either closed-captioned English Dolby Digital 5.1 or French Dolby Digital audio, optional subtitles in English and French are also offered. As usual, Warner does their best to include some interesting extra features, which in this case include a "making of" documentary, theatrical trailers of Wayne movies from the 1930s to the 1970s, and production notes. This exciting release of The Cowboys is sure to please the John Wayne fan in your life.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This unforgettable combination of adventure story and coming-of-age tale is a cult favorite with John Wayne fans and it's easy to see why: The Cowboys is great American filmmaking, pure and simple. The script takes its time to develop rich characters and set up themes that pay off memorably in the film's second half. Director Mark Rydell handles the story in an understated, thoughtful manner that makes its dramatic peaks truly effective. Western fans will be happy to know that when it comes time to deliver a bit of action, Rydell gives it just the right amount of punch without overdoing it. His work is aided immensely by a sweeping, Copeland-esque musical score by John Williams and gorgeous scope photography from Robert Surtees: both do an excellent job of enhancing the film's rich feel of vintage Americana. The final, crucial pieces of the puzzle are the performances and they are magnificent: John Wayne carries the film on his mighty shoulders, delivering all the presence one would expect while also tempering it with a sense of vulnerability that only enhances his heroic appeal. Elsewhere, Roscoe Lee Browne makes an excellent (and equally charismatic foil) to Wayne as the drive's resident cook and Bruce Dern makes a genuinely unnerving villain for Wayne to square off with. It's also worth noting that the child actors playing the cattle drivers all do strong, subtle work, managing to be likeable without ever getting cutesy or maudlin (it's no surprise that young stars Robert Carradine and A Martinez graduated from this film to lengthy acting careers). In short, The Cowboys is a great Western and stand proudly alongside True Grit and The Shootist as the best of John Wayne's latter-day work.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital Mono, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

"The Breaking of Boys and the Making of Men" making-of documentary; Soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1; 13 theatrical trailers of John Wayne movies from the 1930s through the 1970s; Interactive menus; Production notes; Scene access; Languages and subtitles: English, Français

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Wayne Wil Anderson
Roscoe Lee Browne Jebediah Nightlinger
Bruce Dern Asa Watts ("Long Hair")
Colleen Dewhurst Kate
Slim Pickens Anse
Sam O'Brien Jimmy Phillips
Mike Pyeatt Homer Weems
Lonny Chapman Preacher
Matt Clark Smiley
Sarah Cunningham Annie Andersen
Jim Burk Pete
Larry Finley Jake
Jerry Gatlin Howdy
Walter Scott Okay
Margaret Kelly Stuttering Bob's mother
Larry Randles Ben
Tap Canutt Stunts
Chuck Courtney Stunts
Gary Epper Stunts
Kent Hays Stunts
Henry Wills Stunts
Joe Yrigoyen Stunts
Richard Farnsworth Henry Williams
A. Martinez Cimarron
Alfred Barker Singing Fats
Steve Benedict Steve
Norman Howell Weedy
Sean Kelly Stuttering Bob
Clay O'Brien Hardy Fimps
Charles Tyner Jenkins
Allyn Ann McLerie Ellen Price
Nicolas Beauvy Four Eyes
Robert Carradine Slim Honeycutt
Stephen R. Hudis Charlie Schwartz
Tony Epper Rustler

Technical Credits
Mark Rydell Director,Producer
Harriet Frank Screenwriter
Philip M. Jefferies Production Designer
William Dale Jennings Screenwriter
William Kiernan Set Decoration/Design
Richard Portman Sound/Sound Designer
Irving Ravetch Screenwriter
Kay Rose Sound Editor
Jack Solomon Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Surtees Cinematographer
Robert Swink Editor
Anthea Sylbert Costumes/Costume Designer
Neil Travis Editor
John Williams [composer] Score Composer
Tim Zinnemann Associate Producer,Asst. Director

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Scene Index

Jump to a Scene
0. Jump to a Scene
1. Overture. [2:42]
2. Credits. [2:39]
3. Gold fever. [3:11]
4. A stiff neck. [2:26]
5. The schoolhouse. [3:07]
6. Out of the corral. [2:35]
7. Auditions on horseback. [10:33]
8. Terms of hire. [3:57]
9. Laying down the irons. [3:10]
10. Lessons for cowboys. [1:37]
11. A hard man. [5:25]
12. Jebediah Nightlinger. [3:13]
13. Bedtime story. [3:57]
14. "Move 'em out!" [4:29]
15. After a long day. [2:47]
16. 3 A.m. [2:09]
17. Cimarron rescues Slim. [2:42]
18. Bob does it. [1:33]
19. A gift; a father's sons. [3:44]
20. Whiskey. [8:28]
21. Long Hair and Dan. [3:42]
22. Intermission. [:47]
23. Entr'Acte. [2:23]
24. Nighthawk duty. [2:50]
25. A cowboy laid to rest. [4:40]
26. Boys meet girls. [6:47]
27. Shadowed. [4:48]
28. Long Hair makes his move. [5:52]
29. Wil vs. Long Hair. [4:46]
30. Summer's over. [1:55]
31. "We're going to finish the job." [2:27]
32. Striking back. [4:21]
33. Jebediah's noose. [4:34]
34. Long hair's noose. [3:42]
35. Trail's end. [3:30]
36. Cast list. [1:22]
37. Exit music. [1:14]

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The Cowboys 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderful, it's cute funny adventurious! Absolutley Wonderful!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This John Wayne movie is a classic that stands the test of time. The story is timeless and the cast is superb, this was the first ''big'' movie for Robert Carradine and A Martinez. It has a good mix of action and drama as well as heartwarming moments.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a truly wonderful movie. I would reccomend it to anyone who likes action, comedy, and a small bit of tragedy. I loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Duke at his best, fighting for his life and the Oscar while teaching the tough realities of life to a bunch of ruffian kids and made them cowboys when they fight back against the evil outlaws.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A must have movie for any John Wayne fan.
MJT More than 1 year ago
As a boy, I watched every John Wayne movie I could find on television. After seeing this movie, I always hoped to meet John Wayne in person, unfortunately he died before I ever could. However, its performances like the one in this movie which will help keep his memory alive. I believe he did a fine job presenting a hardened western Cattleman, who must rely on the ability of a group of boys and a unique Trail Cook (played wonderfully by Roscoe Lee Browne) to move his cattle to market. Although I didn't much like Bruce Dern's role because of what he does to John Wayne's character, he reveals how well he can successfully play a low-life character with no remorse. If you are seeking a good western film with alittle bit of everything, i.e., action, humor, sorrow, thought-provoking situations, then this will undoubtably fill your plate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
John Wayne as a rough but fair trail boss with a band of green young boys to drive a cattle herd to market,come up against rustlers and immaturity;to become young men readied for a challange. Basically a movie about boys given the name "Cowboys".A great movie about responsibility, courage, and strength of soul/heart.