In the western frontier town of Cross Creek storekeeper George Temple is a polite and soft spoken man with a secret past.When three bank robbers on the lam stop in town to change horses George Temple's past comes back to haunt him.
Chicago hotel clerk Frank Harris dreams of making his fortune in the cattle business. He gets his chance when, the father of the Mexican woman he loves breaks off their relationship and Frank bankrolls cattleman Tom Reece to be able to join him on a cattle buying trip to Mexico. Soon, though, the tenderfoot finds out the reality of life on the trail as a cowboy is not what he expected.Written by
Jorge Mourinha <email@example.com>
The script is based on the memoirs of Frank Harris, chronicling his first trail drive as a greenhorn from Chicago. See more »
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. See more »
I've been dreaming every night about them Mexican gals for the last week. I wouldn't take $400 for what I dreamed last night.
You've been talking in your sleep, too. I wish you would think of something else to dream about for a change.
I'll tell you what you do. You think of something better to dream about... I'll dream about it.
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No, it ain't that. A man has to have something besides a gun and a saddle. You just can't make it all by yourself.
Cowboy is directed by Delmer Daves and adapted to screenplay by Edmund H. North and Dalton Trumbo from Frank Harris' book My Reminiscences as a Cowboy. It stars Glenn Ford, Jack Lemmon, Víctor Manuel Mendoza, Anna Kashfi, Dick York, King Donovan, Brian Donlevy and Richard Jaeckel. Music is by George Duning and cinematography by Charles Lawton Junior.
Based on Frank Harris' memoir, the story finds Lemmon as Harris, a Chicago hotel clerk who in an attempt to prove he is a man and impress the girl he loves, wrangles his way onto a cattle drive being led by rough and tough cowpoke Tom Reece (Ford). He soon finds that out there on the range, in amongst the dust, beef and perils of the west, that life is far from glamorous.
Once you buy into Lemmon as a Western character, accepting his transference from utter greenhorn into a man of the drive, it really becomes a very good film. It's a sort of debunking of the cowpoke myths whilst playing out as a character study of two men, who are polar opposites, as they build an understanding and ultimately help each other to grow and learn. Along the way, from Chicago to the Rio Grande, there is fights, death, stampedes and tests of loyalties and manhood. The great Delmer Daves directs it without fuss or filler (how nice that the romantic arc is rightly a side issue and doesn't get in the way) and Lawton's photography brings the sprawling landscapes to life.
Lead cast members are excellent, with Ford once again providing rich characterisation by way of layered acting, and Lemmon rises up to the challenge of genre work outside of what he would be known for. In support Donlevy is his usual excellent self, making what could have been a clichéd character (aging gunfighter wants to leave his past behind) interesting with emotional depth, and Mendoza as the Ramrod is good foil for Ford. There's some quibbles, such as Dick York hard to take seriously, Jaeckel and Strother Martin (uncredited) wasted and some of the humour doesn't come off. But this is a very enjoyable film, one that thrives on having some character depth and actually something worthy to say. 7.5/10
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