The Cowboys

Synopsis: When his cattle drivers abandon him for the gold fields, rancher Wil Andersen is forced to take on a collection of young boys as his drivers in order to get his herd to market in time to avoid financial disaster. The boys learn to do a man's job under Andersen's tutelage; however, neither Andersen nor the boys know that a gang of cattle thieves is stalking them.
Director(s): Mark Rydell
  1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
134 min


Easy, girl.


Hold it, girl.

Hold it.

Well, l want each of you fellas... buy yourself a

dollar lngersoll watch.

You can't break them

with a hammer and...

...won't lose more

than a minute a month.

- l know we're late, Mr. Andersen.

- You're two hours late!

Work starts around here at 6 a. m.

- Goes for everybody.

- Yes, sir.

We spent the night in Bozeman.

Town's empty as a bone orchard.

Everybody's lit out

for the Ruby River.

- What for?

- Gold.

At the Ruby?

Played out years ago.

No. This is a new strike.

About 20 miles above there.

Almost to the Beaverhead.

Tell him, Smiley.

The fact is, Mr. Andersen,

me and the boys thought...

...we'd like to take a ride up and

have ourselves a little look-see.

Got 1,500 head of steer to get to

Belle Fourche before it snows on me.

You hired on to move them.

- We'd like to help you

out-- - Like to help me out?

The others done pulled out.

There's only five of us left.

That busts it.

You work us like dogs night

and day, and Christmas, too!

- Pay you every Saturday!

- There's easier money around.

We'll do it this way.

We'll take a ride up there, we'll

have a look around, 2 or 3 weeks.

lf it don't work out, we'll get

the others and we'll be right back.

Now you have my word. Don't he, boys?

That's right.

- Your word?

- Yes, sir.

Well, here's my word.

Get the hell off my spread!



Well, they run...

...clean out from under me.

Whole damn bunch of them.

l heard most of it. Let me see that.

A fool comes to town with a

fist full of gold dust and...

...every jackass in 50 miles

around lights out after him.

My day a man'd stay

with you on a handshake.

lt's a different day, Wil.


Well, l guess l'll go over to the

Bigelow place, see what l can turn up.

Maybe Henry....

Henry Bigelow's 60 years old, Wil.

So am l.

Kind of noisy around here.

lt's been like this all week.

Any luck?


l traveled 30 miles today...

...didn't find a single

hand that could...

...throw in with me.

- Did you talk to Parker?

- Yeah.

His wife's gonna have a baby.

How about Miller?

His wife wants to have a baby.

Sucker's only been

married three weeks.

Well, if you can't get your cattle to

market this year, put it off till next.

What'll l do with this year's bills?

Pay them next year. Hell, a

lot of folks around here do.

No, l won't go on tick.

lf your neck was any stiffer... couldn't even bend

over to pull your boots on!

Shut up and pour!

Did you ever think of hiring boys?

- What boys?

- The schoolboys.

Oh, sure, and women.

How about my mama in

Cedar City? She's only 92.

You ain't got a lot of choices.

There ain't a kid in

that school over 15.

They're between hay

and grass. l need men.

How old was you when you went

on your first cattle drive?

- What difference does that make?

- How old was you, Wil?

- Well, in my

day-- - How old?


But an old man's pants fit me.

"The above convenient

arrangement is designed... adjust ladies' long

dresses to a walking length.

lt is worn around the

waist, has two ends-- "

Good afternoon, gentlemen.

Afternoon, Miss Ellen.

Have you gentlemen decided you

need some additional schooling?

Well, l guess we could probably

use some, but we just come visiting.

Well, come in.

Please, sit down.

lt isn't often we get visitors.

We were reading from the

Montgomery Ward catalog.

The grammar's quite correct and

it's always most interesting.

Elizabeth, would you continue, please?

"-- the longer of which

has a nickel clasp...

... rubber-lined, which holds the bottom

of the skirt to any desirable height...

...the shorter one a

hook for holding a fan.

This elevator has been worn in Chicago

during the past season a great deal...

...and ladies consider

it almost indispensable."

Thank you, Elizabeth.

Now, let us hear how well the boys do.

Put away your catalogs

and take out your readers.

Charles Honeycutt.

Would you read today's

assignment for us?

Hail to

thee, blith--



-- blithe spirit.

Bird thou never wert--


Bird thou never wert

That from heaven or

near it Pourest thy--

Get away!

- What have you got there?

- Nothing.

Homer, take your hand

from behind your back!

And open it!

Stop it! Now stop it!

Sit down!

Give it up, Wil.

Can't move heaven and earth.


What you thinking about?


Stringy women like

you live a long time.

Sisters have seen all

their husbands put under.

More than likely you will, too.

And l don't wanna...

...see you end up somebody's fry cook.

l've been your fry cook for 40 years.

A pretty good one, too.

lt's getting chilly.

Come on in, have a cup of coffee.

l'll be in.

Damn Anse!

He put them up to this.

l'd better jump straight down

their throat and get it over with.

Don't be hard on them.

They must've traveled half the

night to get here this early.

Good morning, boys.

Good morning, Mr. Andersen.

Looks like it's gonna

be another fine day.

What can l do for you?

Anse Petersen says you're

looking for hands for your drive.

We come to put in for the job.

Well, any of you ever

been on a cattle drive?

Any of you ever herded cattle?

Well, what can you do?

We can all ride.

Most of us can rope. Couple

of us are pretty good shots.

Well, that's something.

You know, trail driving

is no Sunday school picnic.

Rate this script:5.0 / 2 votes

Irving Ravetch

Irving Dover Ravetch (November 14, 1920 – September 19, 2010) was an American screenwriter and film producer who frequently collaborated with his wife Harriet Frank Jr. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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