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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
The Cowboys [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£17.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 29 August 2015
Probably J W'S best role model appearance along with the unique and distinctive R L B who equalled the dukes performance at every opportunity. Memorable performances by all the cast who must'ave had a whale of a time learning and putting into practice the skills they needed to help portray their characters throughout the movie. Great landscape scenery and fabulous music from the pre Star Wars composer J Ws.

Thought I'd try the 'used' option which stated the condition was "good" and was half the rrp of it's 'new' counterpart. I was very pleased to see that the copy sent, unsealed as expected, was a genuine WB print which displayed the hologram logo and the disc itself is in mint condition.

Thanks Zoverstocks
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on 17 January 2017
purchased for relative over Christmas and it's a story about young men coming of age and moving toward's the step into the adult world.
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on 3 March 2017
Bought as a gift. Arrived on time and much appreciated m.
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on 25 August 2017
John wayne at his best
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on 2 April 2017
Excellent will order again
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on 27 April 2017
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on 9 May 2009
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 May 2017
This is in no doubt one of the better John Wayne films for me done later on in his career, what I loved about this film was how different it was from the standard westerns out there.
Each and every character in this film is fantastic the story of boy's who become men after a cattle drive across the great and open west, whilst being followed by the bad guys who's leader is played by the fabulous Bruce dern.
John Wayne player will Anderson who hires eleven school children after he is left down by his hired hands who wish to chase gold in the mountains in the great gold rush.
The best character for me was the very exentric cook played by the exepcianal but underrated actor Roscoe Lee Browne who teaches the children all about live without them realising that he is teaching them.
This for me should have been the film that Mr Wayne should have had a Oscar for he was absolutely fantastic from the start to his death by the hands of the bandits.
I would definitely recommend this great movie not just for western fans but everyone in general a very memorable film that I and my family will treasure for the rest of our lives.
They definitely don't make them like this no more don't hesitate a must buy close the blinds sit back relax enjoy you will not be disappointed in any way especially with the bluray version a great transfer.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 20 February 2016
Rancher 'Will Andersen' (John Wayne) has 1500 cattle to get to market before the snows come, news of a gold-strike see's
his hands go in search of their fortune.
'Will' needs to make ,the drive this year or go into debt an option he can't contemplate...
A friend and local storekeeper suggests he employs schoolboys, the boys of course are keen to take up the challenge though
'Will' has grave misgivings.....he challenges them to prove themselves by staying on a untamed horse for the count of ten,
the boys that complete the test surprise him, however they are interrupted by a very confident gun-totting boy by the name
of 'Cimarron' (A Martinez) who wants to join the drive and proves more than capable on the untrained horse, though 'Will'
soon see's him as a troublemaker who he's reluctant to hire.
Ahead of them 400 miles of tough terrain....'Will' doesn't expect to complete the drive with the young greenhorns alongside
The Cowboys -
'Fat's' (Alfred Barker jr)
'Dan' (Nicolas Beauvy)
'Steve' (Steve Benedict)
'Slim Honeycutt' (Robert Carradine)
'Weedy' (Norman Howell)
'Charlie Schwartz' (Stephen R. Hudis)
'Stuttering Bob' (Sean Kelly)
'Hardy Fimps' (Clay O'Brian)
'Jimmy Phillips' (Sam O'Brian)
'Homer Weems' (Mike Pyeatt)
They are joined by Cook 'Jebediah Nightlinger' (Roscoe Lee Browne) and after a short distance 'Cimarron' who had been following
the drive early-on, his ability with the gun he carries will come in handy.
The drive will be a hard learning curb for many of the young Cow''boys'' but they will learn.
When the drive runs into trouble in the shape of a gang of ex-cons led by 'Long Hair' (Bruce Dern)...is when the boys become men.

This perhaps one of my favourite 'John Wayne' westerns....it tells quite a story.
Good Blu-ray upgrade.
Features -
Commentary by Director Mark Rydell
New Cast / Director Reunion Featurette - The Cowboys - Together Again
Vintage Featurette - The Breaking of Boys and Making of Men
Theatrical Trailer
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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. There's a fine, rich performance from Roscoe Lee Browne, relishing the rich language and largeness of his teller of tall tales and font of quiet wisdom without ever tipping over into complete ham, always knowing when to tone it down and more than a match for Wayne. By contrast, Bruce Dern's villain opts for the kind of performance that at times could almost be written off as bug-eyed ham if not for the fact he seriously does seem to be intensely dangerously crazy for real (as the retrospective making of featurette reveals, he made a point of being almost as intimidating to the boys offscreen as on to help their scenes along). It's no surprise that the part earned him years of hate mail though, as he told Wayne on the set, "They'll sure love me in Berkeley!"

But it's the Duke's film, the star delivering a beautifully subtle performance that manages to tell you everything you need to know without ever spelling it out. His early scenes with Sarah Cunningham as his wife, economically essaying their quietly loving relationship are absolutely convincing - you really believe these two have shared their lives - without seemingly doing much: their performances and body language just a perfect fit. Similarly his early scenes with Slim Pickens have an unspoken familiarity and quiet warmth just by the relaxed and familiar way they hold themselves in each other's company that tells you more than pages of dialogue ever could. Although Rydell originally wanted George C. Scott for the lead it's impossible to imagine any other actor in the part: more than his own considerable reputation in the genre, he brings a remarkable underplayed sensitivity to the role. After the shoot he told Rydell it was his favourite film, and while it was far from the only film he said that of, you can feel a real connection with the part in every frame. It's the kind of quietly towering performance that never overwhelms the film but manages to lift it to another level, and while it may not have got the praise it deserved at the time it's one of the great ones of the 70s.

The film was originally cut in the UK - Colleen Dewhurst's entire role as a travelling Madame was removed to get the film a lower rating - but the DVD and Blu-ray are fully restored, even including John Williams' remarkable overture as well as the intermission and entr'acte from the film's US roadshow presentations. The picture quality on the Blu-ray is particularly good,, making the most of the remarkable landscapes, while there's a fine selection of extras (also included on the deluxe edition DVD): the aforementioned half-hour retrospective documentary with Rydell and many of the cowboys as well as Dern and Rydell, an original 1972 making of short, the theatrical trailer and a good audio commentary from an enthusiastic and justifiably proud producer-director. And make no mistake, The Cowboys is certainly a Western to be proud of.
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