Cowboy (1958)

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    • Cowboy (1958)




      Plot Summary
      Chicago hotel clerk Frank Harris dreams of life as a cowboy, and he gets his chance when, jilted by the father of the woman he loves, he joins Tom Reece and his cattle-driving outfit. Soon, though, the tenderfoot finds out life on the range is neither what he expected nor what he's been looking for...
      Written by Jorge Mourinha

      Glenn Ford ... Tom Reese
      Jack Lemmon ... Frank Harris
      Anna Kashfi ... Maria Vidal / Arriega
      Brian Donlevy ... Doc Bender - Trail Hand
      Dick York ... Charlie - Trail Hand
      Víctor Manuel Mendoza ... Paco Mendoza - Ramrod
      Richard Jaeckel ... Paul Curtis
      King Donovan ... Joe Capper - Trail Hand
      Vaughn Taylor ... Mr. Fowler - Chicago Hotel Manager
      Donald Randolph ... Senor Vidal - Maria's Father
      James Westerfield ... Mike Adams
      Eugene Iglesias ... Don Manuel Arriega
      Frank DeKova ... Alcaide (as Frank de Kova)
      and many more...

      Delmer Daves

      Writing Credits
      Frank Harris ... (book)
      Edmund H. North ... (screenplay)
      Dalton Trumbo ... (screenplay) (originally uncredited)
      Produced by
      Julian Blaustein ... producer

      George Duning

      Charles Lawton Jr.

      The trumpeter in the cantina was Raphaël Mendez, who in the 1950s was considered by many professional musicians to be one of the finest trumpet players in the world, if not the best.

      The script is based on the memoirs of Frank Harris, chronicling his first trial drive as a greenhorn from Chicago.

      George Duning's soundtrack uses themes from traditional western and Mexican folk tunes.

      At age 33 Jack Lemon was only three years past his breakout role as Ensign Frank Pulver in Mister Roberts.

      The typical cowboy in the Old West died at age 21 from a fall off his horse.

      The stampede scene had the cowboys using what appear to be 20th century model Winchesters with round barrels. They should have used octagonal-barreled model 73s.

      While trying to place a ring on the bulls obviously rubber horn, Don Manuel Arriegas horse is shown being gored in the right shoulder, with blood spurting out of the wound. In subsequent shots there is no sign of any wound. Additionally, many shots in the scene show lunges by the bull that would have disemboweled the horse had the horns been real.

      During the bull - ring game, Glenn Ford is rolled on the ground, but when he pops up again, his clothes don't have a speck of dirt on them.

      Revealing mistakes
      In a rail car containing the shipment of cattle, Tom Reese, an 'experienced' cattle-handler, attempts to help up a fallen steer by pulling the animal's head so that it can get up on its front legs then, presumably, on to its hind legs. No bovine will normally get up like this, and it's easier for it, firstly, to raise itself up on its hind legs by lunging forward, then put its front legs under it to stand up. To help this animal get up, you must lift its rear end by grabbing either the tail root or its backside.

      While Don Manuel Arriega and Tom Reese are attempting to place the ring on the bull's horns, it is obvious the horns, which bend and flop, are made of rubber.

      When Reese arrives at the hotel and orders hot water for a bath, the bellboy brings in pails of water and pours them in the tub. But none of the pails of water are steaming, so they are clearly not hot.

      When Tom and Frank strike their deal in the hotel, Tom says "Get some sleep. We leave first thing in the morning." When Tom and the other cowboys arrive the next morning in the wagon, the shadows on the ground are very short, being almost non-existent. This indicates the sun is almost directly overhead and that it is close to noon, and nowhere near early morning.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Lawton, Oklahoma, USA
      Bonanza Creek Ranch - 15 Bonanza Creek Lane, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
      El Paso Stockyards, El Paso, Texas, USA
      San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico, USA
      Elfrida, Arizona, USA
      Hereford, Arizona, USA
      McNeal, Arizona, USA

      Watch the Movie

      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Cowboy is a 1958 western film directed by
      Delmer Daves and starring Glenn Ford and Jack Lemmon.
      This film is an adaptation of the Frank Harris semi-autobiographical novel
      My Reminiscences as a Cowboy. Lemmon's character is based on Harris.
      The opening animated title sequence was created by Saul Bass.

      Cowboy was nominated for the Oscar for "Best Film Editing" in 1958
      and a Directors Guild of America award for "Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures"

      User Review

      Striking Western about a tenderfoot and a tough cowboy well performed by Lemmon and Ford respectively
      31 December 2011 | by ma-cortes


      ma wrote:

      Formidable Western full of action , ironic touches , fascinating drama , Mexican fiesta , cattle round-up , romantic episodes and fabulous performances . Fine and classic Western by Delmer Daves with a magnificent Jack Lemmon and a restrained Glenn Ford . It's a wonderful adventure film format "western" itinerant, full of amusing events , danger and life lessons . In the 1870s a Chicago hotel clerk named Frank Harris (a notoriously mendacious Jack Lemmon in his usual role ) dreams of life as a cowboy , and the tenderfoot gets his opportunity when , jilted by the dad of the girl (Anna Kashfi) he wishes , he unites forces with Tom Reece (Glenn Ford) and his cattle-driving team (Dick York , Richard Jaeckel and Brian Donlevy) . Soon after, though, the ex-clerk finds out existence on the range is neither what he expected nor what he's been wishing . The brave clerk agrees to covenant with Tom a 2.000 mile cattle drive from Chicago until arrive their destination in the Rio Grande , overcoming several risks , avoiding Indian attacks , cattle stampede and several other things .

      This first-rate Western draws its riveting tale and power from the interaction of finely drawn roles as well as adventure and action . Good adult Western with exciting battle of wits between an obstinate clerk and an expert cowboy . Interesting and likable screenplay based on own reminiscences by novelist Frank Harris and well adapted by the notorious Edmund H. North and the black-listed Dalton Trumbo . Delmer Daves does a good work , an energetic and exciting movie , pitting two antagonist characters against the rugged toughness forced a vast natural environment throughout the trail . Highlight the exemplary value of the landscape as essential dramatic figure, and the narrative takes a brisk pace but not fast, a dash dense but not cumbersome. Glenn Ford as stern boss does an excellent interpretation along with a great cast that appears beautiful Anna Kashfi and other nice secondaries as Dick York , Richard Jaeckel and special appearance by veteran Brian Donlevy. Striking cinematography by Charles Lawton Jr who reflects masterfully the spectacular outdoors . Atmospheric and stirring musical score by George Duning , well conducted by habitual Morris Stoloff . The motion picture is well directed by Delmer Daves - including his characteristic use of landscape- , a Western expert as proved in ¨The hanging tree¨ , ¨3:10 to Yuma¨, ¨The last wagon¨, Jubal , ¨Drum beat¨, ¨Return of the Texan¨, and the notorious ¨Broken arrow¨ . And of course ¨Cowboy¨ that turns out to be stylish, fast paced , solid, meticulous and with enjoyable look . This well acted movie is gripping every step of the way . An unjustly forgotten film results to be a good western and remains consistently agreeable . Rating : Above average , worthwhile watching
      Best Wishes
      London- England