The Cowboys (1972)

Director: Mark Rydell

Writers: Irving Ravetch & Harriet Frank Jr. and William Dale Jennings, from a novel by William Dale Jennings

Stars: John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Bruce Dern, Colleen Dewhurst, Alfred Barker Jr., Nicolas Beauvy, Steve Benedict, Robert Carradine

Wonderful evocation of the end of an era as the hard work ethic gives way to the day of the get-rich-quick scheme. 

After a lifetime of hard work, aging cattleman Wil Anderson (in a great performance by John Wayne) must go on one more cattle drive, this time accompanied by schoolboys since all of his experienced hands have taken off to search for gold. 

Not only must he get the cattle to their destination safely, but he must also teach the boys how to be men. 

Great supporting performances and a surprising turn in the plot toward the end.


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