The Cowboys (1972)

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  • Hi all,
    What interests me - that episode were Duke, trying to hold the young horse take her ear in his mouth. Is it really helps? My horse stand very bad all veterinary vactination and I'm thinking what can I do about that?
    Senta :rolleyes:

  • Now here's a RUMOR (I repeat, RUMOR) that I find a little hard to believe, but perhaps someone here knows what it's all about.

    I heard a story this morning, from a good friend, that in the movie The Cowboys, when it was released in Russia, that John Wayne ends up NOT dying in the movie. Where he heard that rumor I have no idea, and I can't imagine how that plot twist would even work, or how it could have been missed by this group of expert John Wayne buffs :D . Since we have at least one member over in Russia, possibly some light might be shed on this story.

    Or if anyone else knows some other story that might have been mistaken for The Cowboys . . . we would certainly happy to hear about it.

    Chester :newyear:

  • Just finnished watching this underated movie Brilliant!very clever film, in places, good action, real good baddy (Bruce dern)BOOO!, Brilliant music The duke should have gotten an award for his portrayal of Wil Anderson. Loved the TV spin off too.


  • The Cowboys (Mark Rydell, 1972) is definitely one of Wayne's best and most solidly developed late Westerns. We discuss the film (and its potential political implications) in great detail here:

    Also, does anyone know if John Ford made any contributions to the picture? Check out the following photographs:

  • The Cowboys is one of the finest movies I have seen. These children set out boys, but come home men. They learned of integrity, hardwork, betrayal, loyalty, the pain of losing a friend and losing a mentor, and the good and bad of human nature. These men took it upon themselves to right a wrong facing bad men and bad odds. Loved every minute of it.

  • The Cowboys

    Pretty good movie, though I think it's a little hard to believe that a rancher would take boys that young on a drive. I can see the older kids going, but some of them...

    I think the movie has been tagged as violent just because of the subject matter, rather than what actually happens. John Wayne being shot certainly makes a lot of people think that it's worse than it is, and the fact that you see twelve year old kids killing people adds to that. However, overall I don't think that it is too violent at all.

    I have to say that I am a big fan of Roscoe Lee Browne and thought it was great to see him in this film.

    Now onto Bruce Dern. I can definitely believe that he would get death threats for his portrayal of Long Hair. But I thought the character was a little too much. He was too crazy, and not rational at all. Sure I understand that his main motive was stealing the herd and making some money, but I thought he was over the top, like some psycho Bond villain or something. However, the movie was still enjoyable. I knew that John died before I watched it so I wasn't shocked when he was cowardly gunned down. Very touching scene at the end where Cimarron tells the gravestone carver to write beloved husband and father on the tombstone.

    I found the Overture, Intermission, Entr'acte, Exit music part a little weird.

    [SIZE=3]That'll Be The Day[/SIZE]

  • Hi All

    I got the Cowboys Deluxe DVD today.

    Much improved picture and sound compared to previous release.

    Extras are new documentary from Mark Rydell and the boys who starred in the movie.

    Also. included is theatrical trailer and older promo documentary The Breaking of Boys and the Making of Men.

    Much better release worth replacing older DVD.

    Detailed review attached.


    The Cowboys appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Across the board, the transfer looked great.
    Virtually no problems with sharpness occurred. The movie consistently looked crisp and well-delineated. No signs of jagged edges or shimmering materialized, and only a sliver of edge enhancement was apparent. Source flaws remained largely absent, as I noticed only a couple of small specks in this essentially clean presentation.
    As befit the western setting, colors looked low-key. They were always as full as the cinematography demanded, though, and they appeared very solid. The occasional brighter hues seemed vivid and rich within the normally arid confines. Blacks were dark and full, while shadows usually came across well. Some “day for night” shots were a little murky, but they didn’t cause substantial problems. This was a consistently strong image.
    In addition, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of The Cowboys satisfied. The scope of the soundfield didn’t dazzle but it worked much better than the average movie from 1972. Music always showed nice stereo imaging, and effects broadened matters a little. Though they didn’t boast much specificity, they opened the spectrum a bit and gave us some scope. A little localized speech cropped up through the movie. The music was the best aspect of the track, though, and the score also spread to the surrounds in an effective manner. Though the mix didn’t create a great soundfield, it seemed natural and fitting.
    Given the age of the material, audio quality seemed strong. Speech sounded fairly natural, and I noticed no distortion or problems. The music appeared lush and lively, while effects were concise and clean. They presented good range when necessary. This was a more than competent mix for a 36-year-old flick.
    A mix of supplements come to us for this “Deluxe Edition” of The Cowboys. We begin with an audio commentary from director Mark Rydell. He offers a running, screen-specific chat. Rydell discusses cast and crew, sets and locations, working with John Wayne, training the kids to be cowboys, composer John Williams, reactions to the flick, and other aspects of shooting the flick. My favorite stories involve the interaction between actor Bruce Dern and the kids as well as one about John Ford’s visit to the set.
    Rydell offers an amiable chat and parses out decent details along the way. However, at times he just seems happy to watch the movie again, so a fair amount of dead air comes out here. That factor causes some problems, but Rydell provides enough good stories along the way to make this a worthwhile listen.
    A new featurette called The Cowboys: Together Again runs 28 minutes, 33 seconds as it examines a recent reunion. Most of the material comes from a December 12, 2006 session with Rydell and actors A Martinez, Bruce Dern, Norman Howell, Jr., and Stephen Hudis. Actors Robert Carradine and Roscoe Lee Browne appear in separate interviews. Here we learn about the project’s origins, Rydell’s work as a director, casting kid actors and rodeo performers, shooting the flick and working with Wayne, acting details and various impressions of each other, locations, and other production elements.
    I like the concept of “Together” and think the show includes just enough useful information to succeed. Inevitably, some material repeats from Rydell’s commentary, and we also find a fair amount of fuzzy nostalgic happy talk we expect from this kind of retrospective. Nonetheless, the piece presents some decent notes and proves enjoyable.
    In addition to the movie’s trailer, we find a vintage featurette. The Breaking of Boys and the Making of Men goes for eight minutes, 49 seconds. We view Rydell’s casting sessions and see the boys’ training as well as a few other aspects of the shoot. The elements from the production help make this a fun piece. We get many nice glimpses of the filmmaking processes, so it adds up to more than just the usual promotional program.
    Though I went into The Cowboys with low expectations, the result proved quite enjoyable. A stark, honest look at an unusual cattle drive, the movie managed to create a memorable and emotional experience. The DVD boasted excellent picture and audio plus a mix of reasonably interesting extras. This is a good DVD for a fine film.

  • I've had mine for awhile and I just glanced at the time on mine and it says 135 min. Not sure what the old time was but I agree the times unless significant are irrelevant. A remake like this they aren't going to deduct movie length, they may add some but I doubt they'd every remove anything.

  • I've always heard that there were scenes that were in the movie that got deleted on my version of the dvd. Have there been any new scenes in this version?

    Stay thirsty my friends.

  • Not sure... IMDB says 131 min and the new release says 135 minutes. I should run them together and see what's in the extra 4 min. I have both and it's not hard to do.

  • I think the only footage that was cut was when the boys find the Colleen Dewhurst and her good time girls. This footage was cut for TV showings but is on most DVD Releases.

    I think some of the language was also trimmed for TV viewings as well

    This release has an Overture of The Cowboys Theme before the film starts so I think any additional footage comes from there.


  • I'm going to be running both movies now to see if I can find the difference. Give me a few to sync the movies. I have three copies of The Cowboys. The two main copies, both released by Warner Bros. are both identical. They have a 2 min 30 sec Overture and a 1 min 26 sec Exit Music. The shorter one is only different because it doesn't have the 3 min 56 sec of music so that's your 131 minutes and 135 minutes difference. The only difference is the older movie started with the old Warner Bros. logo and the new release had the new WB logo. All the chapters are the same as well.

    I had to watch the fight scene, I'd have to pick that as the best/worse fight scene. Especially since the vermin ridden SOB that shoots him in the left arm, right thigh, right arm, and two times in the belly but gets what;s coming to him... I wouldn't have cut him free, just let the horse run off and it probably would have broke his back. That's a hard part to watch.

    I was going to ask, did everyone get the same set location pictures also? Here are the ones I got with the new DVD: (I watermarked them so don't spread them around...)


  • Mark, thanks for that clip - definitely good for a laugh!

    I recently read an Associated Press article about Bruce Dern (the guy we love to hate because he "killed" John Wayne), and found it online, for your reading pleasure. It was actually an interesting article.

    Chester :newyear:

  • A pretty good interview, and I bet the book is good too.

    I might have to read that book. I didn't know all that about him.

    Cheers :cool: Hondo


    "When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it"

    - John Wayne quote