If you can get through Jet Pilot, You can get through anything!!!
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The ultimate test being if you can watch Jet Pilot AND The Conqueror on the same day !!!
I don't think the Conqueror is all that bad, just watched it the other night!
I know I'm a newbie and this is an old thread but I can't believe that people don't appreciate The Cowboys as much as I do. And yes I hated Bruce Dern for years, was glad when he died in The Cowboys and every other movie he was in. I hated that Wil Andersen died. To each his own but I would put The Cowboys in my Top 10 favorites.
Here are some of the reasons why:
We all know that Duke loved his children and had them with him as often as he could but how often do we see him in the real role of father figure on the screen? Shootist, Cahill, Big Jake, McClintock? Only in Cahill does he deal with children and not young adults and I don’t think the absentee father that is Cahill is what Duke would have wanted to be.
He knocks father figure out of the park as Wil Anderson. Sure, they aren’t his but he’s got another chance. He’s tough but compassionate, hard but caring, all those things that a father of boys should be. Then he makes the ultimate sacrifice for them.
The boys we are introduced to in the schoolhouse are high collared pansies still playing with frogs. The same group we see later are permanently changed by being in the presence of WIl Andersen. They can now stand up to hard men when they would have wet their collective pants three months ago. WIl Andersen did that for them.
Roscoe Lee Brown and Bruce Dern were perfectly cast for this movie. I think one of them should have won an Oscar as best supporting actor.
The musical score was awesome.
I had never considered the Christ contrast before reading this thread, probably says more about my imagination than anything but it fits.
Finally, and there are another dozen reasons for liking this movie like the relationship with his wife, the bull headedness with his debts, telling his original hands not to come back, but I thought Andersen was the perfect part for Wayne at that time in his life. It allowed him to be the Duke, aging but strong, but it also allowed the softer side with children to be a huge part of his character. His acting was better than in anything else in the 60s and 70s with the possible exception of The Shootist. He wasn’t playing a caricature of himself like the Rooster movies or parts that didn’t fit him like the 70s cop movies. He was the Duke and I always wanted to be one of the Cowboys.
For what it's worth my wife won't watch it or teh Shootist because John Wayne dies.:no:
For what it's worth, I think after Ethan Edwards, Nathan Brittles, and J. B. Brooks, Wil Anderson is the best Duke performance. The impact of his loss is heartbreaking, but the boys have absorbed his ethics and will keep them alive for another generation.
When "The Cowboys" first came out, it was criticized because the only lesson the boys seemed to learn was how to slaughter their tormentors.
The critics missed the passing on of the work ethic - getting the job done, no matter the loss, - and honoring their mentor and father figure.
We deal in lead, friend.
I Appreciate the Cowboys! That and The Shootist were the best two movies he made in the 70's!