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Cowboys [DVD]


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Cowboys [DVD] + Chisum [DVD] [1970] + Rio Bravo [DVD] [1959]
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Product details

  • Actors: John Wayne, Bruce Dern, Colleen Dewhurst, Slim Pickens, Roscoe Lee Browne
  • Directors: Mark Rydell
  • Producers: Mark Rydell
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Whv
  • DVD Release Date: 19 July 2004
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004TLB8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,646 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

An ageing rancher (John Wayne) is forced to hire eleven schoolboys to help him herd his cattle to market, when his regular hands run off to join a goldrush. Along the way the boys are easy prey for villains, but they soon become hardened killers.

Synopsis

After his cowhands desert him for a nearby gold rush, aging, leather-tough rancher Will Anderson (John Wayne) resorts to hiring 11 schoolboys to help him on a 400-mile cattle run. Setting off with the boys and an eloquent but equally tough black cook (Roscoe Lee Browne), Anderson must get his cattle to their destination while contending with the wilderness and a psychotic, vengeful ex-con (Bruce Dern) who is out to get him... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Richard Rogers on 18 Dec 2008
Format: DVD
'The Cowboys' is a brave film on 2 counts. I'll get to that later!! Mr. Wayne plays a cattle rancher who has been deserted by his handful of men, who have gone to find gold in them there hills. He's now left with a massive herd of cattle he needs to get across 400 miles of unforgiving terrain. The answer to his woes? Hire 11 schoolboys to help him!!

Here's the first brave decision. Base the film around 11 unknown young boys who may or maynot be able to pull off a convincing display. Well the gamble pays off, because these boys put in fine performances. Aided by a grand performance from John Wayne, you get the feeling that a real bond was forged within this group.

Bruce Dern turns up as the psychotic bad guy, who is after the cattle and getting a nice sum of money for him and his cronies. They start to track the cattle drive and cause problems for Wayne and his 'men', Dern turns up the heat with some nasty episodes with the youngsters. As the boys develop along the way, coming to terms with the hardy task they face, an eventual showdown is imminent between Wayne and the cattle thieves.

Its here in the film that another brave decision is made. With three quarters of the film gone, something happens that makes you stop and think 'no, surely not'!! I'll try not to spoil it but this moment could either make or break what so far has been a very enjoyble picture.

I was happy with how the film came to a conclusion from this point. Ok, so it may be a bit 'Hollywood' but I did feel me saying 'get in there'!!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr Viewer on 9 May 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It does not get much better than this folks. A near masterpiece.

Forget the Shootist, True Grit, Rooster Cogburn, Red River, Rio Bravo and the Horse soldiers, all great John wayne films, this is something even better. Understated, incredible performances by all the cast. Fantastic scenery. Good quality picture and sound.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Rankin Cattan on 23 April 2005
Format: DVD
The Cowboys is without a doubt the best film John Wayne ever made.Streets ahead of True Grit ,this is a moving story of an ageing rancher abandoned by his ranch hands who has to employ young boys straight out of school (The Cowboys)to help him to drive his herd of cows to be sold.During their trip the lads,have to grow up fast,having to face all manner of perils,having in the end to do battle with a band of rustlers,to get the herd back.I will say that The Cowboys is a good film but in truth that does not really do it credit,every aspect of this movie is good the music the beautifully shot scenes the story and the stories content,and there is something in it for everyone.Buy it and watch it over a period of years,your appreciation will only increase,The Cowboys is a film that truly deserves the title of Classic .
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Mar 2009
Format: DVD
This film is an excellent vehicle for "The Duke". The young film director Mark Rydell accomplishes something few other directors could do with Wayne in his later years, and that was to take him out of the cruise control he had been in for many of his later films and coax a very strong performance from him. Working in unfamiliar surroundings with unfamiliar directors seemed to bring out the best from Wayne who also performed well for Don Siegal in "The Shootist"(76).

In the film Wayne is a rancher who has lost all his wranglers who have gone off looking for gold. He needs men for a cattle drive but is forced to take on boys although not keen on the idea. He also employs a cook played by Roscoe Lee Browne. The Duke acts as a Father figure to the boys and watches them grow up on the long drive in a coming of age experience. He confesses to the cook that his own boys went bad. The group then have a run in with rustlers. In a bloody fist fight the Duke beats the evil gang leader. It is probably one of cinemas most realistic screen fights and you feel every blow. Without spoiling the ending I will only say that things head inexorably to a final reckoning for Dern and his motley gang.

The film is probably one of Waynes better films from his twilight years. I prefer it to "True Grit"(69) which lacks the same substance and relies too much on Waynes eyeball rolling antics. Well done to Mark Rydell for making a very original and intelligent film. He makes some very brave decisions that other directors more established would have shied away from. It was certainly making best use of the monolithic legendary screen presence that was John Wayne. He is still sorely missed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 24 Jun 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Intended as a major roadshow picture, The Cowboys suffered badly on its original release in 1972 as a hostile press tried to read Wayne's offscreen political views into what was basically an exceptionally good cattle drive Western with a twist. With the twist being that a gold rush causes all Wayne's farm hands to skip the ranch, forcing him to recruit a motley group of schoolboys to take their place. A rites of passage tale, many chose to interpret their ultimately violent coming of age as a right-wing statement on everything from gun ownership to the Vietnam war, but removed from the political fallout of its day it holds up remarkably well as a bittersweet tale of the passing of one generation and the coming of another. It wasn't intended as a requiem for the genre, but it's certainly one of the last great traditional American Westerns.

It doesn't hurt that parts of it are staggeringly beautiful, with actor-turned-director Mark Rydell, perhaps the least likely Western helmer of the 70s, showing a remarkable visual sense and a gift for choosing just the right angle and the right lens to get the most out of every visual opportunity. He and cinematographer Robert Surtees also know exactly how to use the Scope frame to its fullest to make the film look genuinely epic without falling just into travelogue prettiness - they give it a real sense of energy when it's needed, as does John Williams superb score, richly drawing on Western tradition but not overlooking the emotion.

The cowboys themselves are a particularly good and credible ensemble, but although they ultimately take centre-stage it's the grownups who leave the biggest impression.
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