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A Movie A Day: Quint sees THE COWBOYS (1972)
You goddamned sonuvabitch! You goddamned, mean sonuvabitch!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s installment of A Movie A Day. [For those now joining us, A Movie A Day is my attempt at filling in gaps in my film knowledge. My DVD collection is thousands strong, many of them films I haven’t seen yet, but picked up as I scoured used DVD stores. Each day I’ll pull a previously unseen film from my collection and discuss it here. Each movie will have some sort of connection to the one before it, be it cast or crew member.] Today’s flick is 1972’s THE COWBOYS starring John Wayne, Bruce Dern and Roscoe Lee Browne. We follow director Mark Rydell over from yesterday’s AMAD On Golden Pond. Like his later work on On Golden Pond, Rydell explores an aging man’s relationship with young kids, another angle into the grandfather/grandson dynamic. Here, though, John Wayne isn’t old enough to really be feeling himself slip away, so his character is very much John Wayne. He’s tough, he’s strong… there are hints of him having trouble sleeping without a drink because of the pain of old age, but there isn’t any other weakness for him. But also much like On Golden Pond this movie is really funny, partially for Wayne’s cantankerous nature, partially for the boys being boys aspect and partially because of Roscoe Lee Browne’s character, Jebediah Nightlinger, a cookie with sage advice and a smart-ass streak a mile long. Essentially what you have here is an aging Cowboy who is preparing a cattle drive over the summer, but every able bodied man is off trying to strike it rich on a rumored gold strike. He ends up in the awkward position of having to evaluate a new batch of Cowboys for the trip, all aged between 11 and 15.

It takes a while for Wayne to warm up to them, and they to him, but ultimately they’re brought on and the drive is made, all with a Joker-level-creepy Bruce Dern shadowing the drive looking for his chance to steal the cattle. The subhead line comes from one of the youngest kids in the movie, played by Sean Kelly. He spotted another kid fall into a river and tries to tell Wayne, but the kid has a bad stutter and just can’t get it out. Robert Carradine (who later gained geek notoriety starring as Lewis in REVENGE OF THE NERDS) is the kid in the river and is pulled to safety. Kelly is celebrating his friend’s survival only to have Wayne turn on him and berate him for nearly getting his friend killed. I absolutely loved this kid. Wayne is such a dickhead to him and we see this poor kid breakdown… crumbling from happiness to defensive to tears to anger. At the end of it, he grumbles to Wayne, who is walking away, that he’s a son of a bitch. Wayne freezes. “Say that again.” He does, adding on goddamned and mean onto it. Wayne turns on him, but the kid doesn’t back down. Say that again. The kid does. Not once did he stutter. Wayne notices, but the kid doesn’t. Wayne just smiles and says, “I wouldn’t make it a habit calling me that, son.” And walks off as the kid realizes he didn’t stutter. It’s a perfect moment in the film, not betraying any of the characters, but still giving us a little heartfelt bit. And speaking of perfect, I don’t know what kind of crazy pills Bruce Dern was taking, but holy shit is he creepy in this movie. I’ve seen a lot of Bruce Dern movies and a lot of Bruce Dern movies from this era (like SILENT RUNNING and THE GREAT GATSBY), but I don’t think I’ve ever noticed how scary his teeth are. He has huge chompers and in this film he feels almost animalistic. He’s a great heavy. In fact, there’s a scene where he captures one of the kids and I can only imagine the fear on the kid’s face is real when Dern is putting on his big bad wolf persona. Dern threatens to slit the kid’s throat and holds the knife up… and I think it’s a great testament to the film and to Dern’s performance that I didn’t know if I was about to watch the kid die or not. I also want to talk about Roscoe Lee Browne, who is great. He’s essentially the middleman between Wayne and the kids when he’s first brought on to be the cook for the drive and quickly becomes the heart of the film. I don’t know what it says about me, but I also picked up a vaguely creepy vibe from him, too. He has some really… interesting lines that he delivers with a menace I don’t they intended. I won’t call him a kid toucher, but there’s a sequence when he first bunks with the kids where he definitely makes the choice to play up the creepy aspect. Of course, I’m sure he was going for the mysterious menace with a smile and to someone whose mind isn’t always constantly in the gutter it’s a perfectly innocent scene. Browne really does kick ass in this movie. He has a scene towards the end of the film where he utters a prayer that is probably one of my favorite deliveries of any line so far in the 30+ films we’ve covered in the AMAD column. I won’t ruin it if you haven’t seen this one yet.

Also of note is an early and fantastic score by none other than John Williams. You can actually hear a little of JAWS and STAR WARS in this score. Not a theme repetition, but just in choice of instruments and, I’d assume, type of equipment used to record his orchestral score. Speaking of Williams, I forgot to include in my On Golden Pond piece, but does anybody else think that Dave Grusin is owed a little by John Williams completely aping his main theme for the love theme from Star Wars: Episode II? It’s just as similar as George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord was to the Chiffon’s He’s So Fine (maybe more so) and that was a big ol’ deal when that lawsuit happened… Just sayin’… I link above to the regular DVD, but I watched it on HD-DVD (it’s also out on Blu-Ray) and from what I understand the difference in transfer is considerable, so keep that in mind if you have a next gen player. Final thoughts… there’s a sequence towards the end where the kid’s take matters into their own hands and what can I say? It’s a personal love of mine watching kids killing people… in films, of course. I think in person it’d probably make me curl up into a protective ball and cry uncontrollably. But the kids just get their guns out and go on a killing spree and I loved it. I will say that if I have any bones to pick… is that Bruce Dern doesn’t get a comeuppance equal to the evil he has done. I will leave it at that. If you like John Wayne at all, this is a fantastic film that throws some of Wayne’s formulas on their ears, so it’s not the same old same old. The movie has heart, laughs and enough threat to make you genuinely worried for the characters.

The schedule for the next 7 days is: Sunday, July 6th: THE ALAMO (1960) Monday, July 7th: SANDS OF IWO JIMA (1950) Tuesday, July 8th: WAKE OF THE RED WITCH (1949) Wednesday, July 9th: D.O.A. (1950) Thursday, July 10th: SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943) Friday, July 11th: THE MATCHMAKER (1958) Saturday, July 12th: THE BLACK HOLE (1979) Today’s AMAD kicks off a four-film John Wayne kick. Don’t worry, I was careful to break up the Wayne flicks so it doesn’t get too tedious (for me or for you). I have probably 20 John Wayne films on the masterlist, but I’ll space ‘em out. Tomorrow we follow Wayne back to his directorial effort THE ALAMO. This is one title that I very well could have seen over the years… I know I’ve seen pieces, but I’m not sure I’ve seen it from beginning to end, so I’m going to make damn sure I have by watching it and reporting on it tomorrow. See you folks then. -Quint

Previous Movies: June 2nd: Harper
June 3rd: The Drowning Pool
June 4th: Papillon
June 5th: Gun Crazy
June 6th: Never So Few
June 7th: A Hole In The Head
June 8th: Some Came Running
June 9th: Rio Bravo
June 10th: Point Blank
June 11th: Pocket Money
June 12th: Cool Hand Luke
June 13th: The Asphalt Jungle
June 14th: Clash By Night
June 15th: Scarlet Street
June 16th: Killer Bait (aka Too Late For Tears)
June 17th: Robinson Crusoe On Mars
June 18th: City For Conquest
June 19th: San Quentin
June 20th: 42nd Street
June 21st: Dames
June 22nd: Gold Diggers of 1935
June 23rd: Murder, My Sweet
June 24th: Born To Kill
June 25th: The Sound of Music
June 26th: Torn Curtain
June 27th: The Left Handed Gun
June 28th: Caligula
June 29th: The Elephant Man
June 30th: The Good Father
July 1st: Shock Treatment
July 2nd: Flashback
July 3rd: Klute
July 4tH: On Golden Pond

Readers Talkback
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  • July 5, 2008, 5:58 p.m. CST

    I loved the cowboys

    by moondoggy2u

    Or, at least, the big dukeroo between Wayne and Dern. Thats still one of my favorite death scenes to this very day...

  • July 5, 2008, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Bruce Dern

    by the goose

    Is just about my all-time favourite character actor. No-one does "unhinged" like Bruce. BLACK SUNDAY: "Who took the picture???!!!"

  • July 5, 2008, 6:08 p.m. CST

    Most Violent Kids Film I Done Did See

    by georges garvaren

    The seventies kicked bloody ass. Glad you've had the chance to see this flick, Quint.

  • July 5, 2008, 6:09 p.m. CST

    I've been meaning to see this forever

    by hegele

    i'll rent it and post some views later

  • July 5, 2008, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Told Ya' So

    by Rebeck2

    Just a classic from start to finish.

  • July 5, 2008, 6:57 p.m. CST

    First John Wayne film I ever watched.

    by liljuniorbrown

    A real classic. At 11 years old I was pissed when my dad brought that movie home from the video store instead of what ever Steven Segal classic that I really wanted to see. Thirty minutes in I was a fan of John Wayne and decided that was the only movies I wanted my dad to rent on the weekends from that point forward.My dad also made me go see Back to the future when I was about 9,I wanted to see Masters of the Universe, i guess the son of a bitch knew his movies if nothing else.

  • July 5, 2008, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Quint: The river scene with the kid and Dern

    by mr dark

    In the extras they talk about filming that scene while the boys parents were on set. The take was done without telling the boy exactly what Dern was going to do. That river scene has so much impact because the element of shock and surprise was for real.. I am willing to bet that kid had to clean out his drawers after that scene..As for the scene were Dern kills the Duke it took me a few years to like Dern again after seeing it. Even though I knew it was all an act.

  • July 5, 2008, 7:12 p.m. CST


    by --- Emperor ---

    Damn you to hell!

  • July 5, 2008, 7:13 p.m. CST

    I hate John Wayne

    by disfigurehead

    Anyone who says he was a "Real American" is full of shit. Chain smoking macho shithead.

  • July 5, 2008, 7:19 p.m. CST

    I Love The Shots

    by Rebeck2

    Of all the boys faces after they've gotten revenge. All of them like stone, suddenly aged beyond heir years. I've actually heard some PC bullshit lately how the climax and the way it equates violence with growing up makes some people "uncomfortable". Oh shut the fuck up!! It's the Old West, what were the boys supposed to do: file a police report? Write a letter to their congressman?? Maybe express their feelings in a letter they don't send... Gimme a break. Some men deserve killing. End of story. If nothing else, John Wayne movies taught us that.

  • July 5, 2008, 7:22 p.m. CST


    by Rebeck2

    I'm a diehard Liberal Democrat - you don't have to agree with Wayne's politics to enjoy his movies. And anyway, if Wayne had lived to see the last couple decades, I think he would have undergone the same moving to the center/left as Clint Eastwood.

  • July 5, 2008, 7:26 p.m. CST

    Don't bother with The Black Hole

    by jaymrobinson

    This is one of the only films that I saw as a child that I thought even then was really bad.

  • July 5, 2008, 7:26 p.m. CST

    one good thing about this column.....

    by rben

    is that it's getting me to spruce up my movie collection (i have mostly tv series collections pretty much). Recent additions: Caddyshack, Blazing Saddles, Lawrence of Arabia, The Terminator (cool lenticular cover), Superman The Movie and Body Double, mostly picked up from Target, Wal-Mart and Borders for between 7-10 bucks, although i dragged my heels re: picking up day the earth stood still and cool hand luke at Target also at low prices and when i came back, sure enough they were gone. probably gonna order them from amazon when my government moola comes in next week as i also saw low prices on some other movies at w-mart today and thought: geez, i gotta cool it with the spending. sux to have a job that barely cracks the 30s range. also supposed to be receiving season 1 of The Invaders by friday (coinciding with the release of hellboy 2) how much cinefantstic can i stand? (and hey, what ever became of that magazine anyway? always blew starlog right out of the water!)

  • July 5, 2008, 7:39 p.m. CST

    wayne was a drunk racist

    by bacci40

    and i am proud to say that i have never watched a john wayne movie all the way through...clint eastwood would kick his ass

  • July 5, 2008, 8:25 p.m. CST

    I saw this on the big screen when I was

    by Sparhawk38

    8. It is beautifully shot. Great and unusual Wayne movie.

  • July 5, 2008, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Banish pigphart.....

    by chromedome

    no useful contribution to ANY TB, just his lame-ass cut/paste attempt <p>

  • July 5, 2008, 9:01 p.m. CST

    Eastwood Would Cry Before The First Punch Landed

    by georges garvaren

    and continue crying till he was knocked the fuck out. Seriously, Son, pull 'yer dang head out your bum. Also, being proud of never seeing "The Searchers" is just silly; see the films before you run your ignorant mouth off.

  • July 5, 2008, 9:14 p.m. CST

    "Even on my worst day I could beat the hell out of you"

    by jim

    A lot of great lines in the movie, many delivered by Roscoe Lee Browne. This movie has replaced The Searchers as my favourite John Wayne movie. Thanks Quint - probably would never have taken the time to check it out if it weren't for this column (a lot to see, limited time).<p>Anyone else find, even nearing 50, Colleen Dewhurst very sensual in her one scene? <p>I cringe to think there is probably some studio exec. trying to get this remade, but more like "Bad News Bears on Horseback" type film.

  • July 5, 2008, 9:58 p.m. CST

    Williams' Cowboys score also has the Smallville music...

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    ...from Superman. It's embryonic stages, anyways. Great score.

  • July 5, 2008, 10:45 p.m. CST



  • July 5, 2008, 11:12 p.m. CST

    georges garvaren...did i say i didnt watch the searchers?

    by bacci40

    i watched the first 5 minutes...then comes wayne with his idiot swagger...watched 10 minutes of rooster cogborn....i think i watched 20 minutes of the green berets...i hate john wayne...fucking coward piece of shit...while others went to fight and die, he got a fucking family deferment...but made big time war pictures, where he was always the fucking every wingnut repug, he was a fucking chickenhawk, decrying those that refused to serve in vietnam...well fuck him and his one lung...fuck the fucking fucker...ever notice its the fucking cowards that make the big time war pics, like stallone (who hid in switzerland) and wayne? fuck him....hope he is in hell and being raped by trigger

  • July 5, 2008, 11:18 p.m. CST

    i dont remember clint bashing war protestors

    by bacci40

    clint is an economic conservative...far from a social conservative...who put his money where his mouth is and ran for office...wayne backed nixon for christ sakes....if he were alive today, he would be backing bush...fuck him...oh and here is a quote from the big fuckin hero "I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people." racist piece of shit

  • July 5, 2008, 11:27 p.m. CST

    You goddamned sonuvabitch

    by theredtoad

  • July 5, 2008, 11:28 p.m. CST

    You goddamned MEAN sonuvabitch!

    by theredtoad

    The Cowboys of the creature world? The Gremlins!

  • July 5, 2008, 11:58 p.m. CST

    Bacci40, You Sure As Shit Did.

    by georges garvaren

    "i am proud to say that i have never watched a john wayne movie all the way through". That statement implies that you have NOT seen The Searchers. Five minutes perhaps, however the entirety of the film is slightly longer. Nice try, Bud.

  • July 6, 2008, 12:12 a.m. CST

    pigphart5000 isnt banned yet??

    by Groothewarrior

    well i will help banish pigphart5000 boy on porch playing banjo music gooodbye mister "Ill be pig fucked" squeal like a pig boy!!!!!!

  • July 6, 2008, 1:26 a.m. CST

    Remember the Alamo, Quint!

    by Boba Fat

    Sorry - couldn't resist.

  • July 6, 2008, 1:42 a.m. CST

    I was born in 72

    by Orionsangels

    and so was pong on the magnovox odyssey. best year ever!

  • July 6, 2008, 2:01 a.m. CST


    by palimpsest

    There's some fascinating stuff in that, though it's by no means a good film. And John Barry's score is an awesome piece of work. As for THE COWBOYS, that's a great little movie. Keep this stuff coming, Quint.

  • July 6, 2008, 2:42 a.m. CST

    Cowboys and Black Holes

    by HyphenatedWords

    Tally ho, Quint! Keep 'em coming. I visit the site daily, and this is a highlight.<br> <br> I had nearly forgotten about The Cowboys. I wouldn't have been able to think of the name until I read it here — it was that John Wayne flick where something happens that never happened in a John Wayne flick, the one with all of the kids. I think we saw it in gradeschool for some odd reason. I remember loving it.<br> <br> By the way, how old *are* you? Just for context's sake. I've missed most of the films on your list, too, and wonder if it's a commonality. I'm just old enough to remember the death of the westerns on television and when the idea of playing "cowboys and indians" was still around. I think the kids play "European liars and Native Americans" today.<br> <br> Another reason I asked was for context with The Black Hole. I know it's not a lot of people's favorite movie. Heck, it certainly not my favorite. But it holds a great place in m heart. I was seven when it was released. It was before Star Wars had fully taken hold for me. I was watching Carl Sagan and Nova and National Geographic on public television and always had a mind for science, so this movie about "the most destructive force in the universe" sucked me right in. I loved it. Parts of it scared the shit out of me.<br> <br> In retrospect, there is of course no shred of hard science in the film. But it's moody as hell. It's ambitious for a Disney film. It's as though they thought, "Shit. We should have been the ones who made Star Wars... let's make our own space movie but make it creepy."<br> <br> So, if I have any advice, put yourself in that mindset when watching it and let yourself be blown away by what it *does* have to offer. A cool score, the amazing (and amazingly simple) opening credits, VINCENT, and some fantastic images.

  • July 6, 2008, 4:11 a.m. CST

    i may be a little bitch....but

    by bacci40

    my dad did fought in korea, while that yellow bellied piece of shit was hiding in hollywood, making movies that portrayed him as a hero...and like i said, i have never watched an entire john wayne movie all the way through, just bits and pieces....cuz when he talks, i cringe...fuck that dead racist, chickenhawk...oh, and your fucking hero also passed names to the committee...thats right, he finked on his fellow actor, all in the name of protecting this country from commies....wish kruchev had offed the sob

  • July 6, 2008, 6:28 a.m. CST

    Never seen this one.

    by Knuckleduster

    Been looking for a good western I haven't seen yet. Hope this is it. It's kinda sad when you run out of Peckinpah's to watch.

  • July 6, 2008, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Damn You Michael Bay


    Damn You Michael Bay

  • July 6, 2008, 7:18 a.m. CST

    The Duke, Roscoe Lee Browne, Bruce Dern

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    What's not to love. Although this movie made Dern one of the most hated actors for a while. People couldn't get over the fact it was just a movie.

  • July 6, 2008, 7:43 a.m. CST

    Good comments Tom Bodet, plus you gotta

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    respect the fact that Hanks, after Saving Private Ryan, got very involved in honoring WWII vets. I could be wrong, but I think he very active in promoting the WWII memorial that had yet to be built in the mall in DC.

  • July 6, 2008, 7:43 a.m. CST

    Bruce Dern's best movie: Silent Running

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    That movie just makes me want to cry like a girl. It's very appropriate for today.

  • July 6, 2008, 8:15 a.m. CST

    Wayne and the military

    by vezner2007

    Anyone who holds it against Wayne for not serving in the military is either a jackass or a fool…or maybe both. First of all, Wayne was under a great deal of pressure from Republic studios to not enlist. He was even threatened with a lawsuit by the head of Republic pictures if he enlisted, which would have forced him out of his contract with Republic. Sure, most likely the lawsuit would have never happened but this is just an example of the kind of pressure he was under. There’s also the fact that his age (34 in 1941) and family status made him exempt from serving. Sure, he could have tried to force the issue and get enlisted anyway but with the studio pressure going on, can you honestly blame him? And to his credit, he regretted not serving for the rest of his life and that’s why you saw him be so patriotic both on film and in his personal life. He was trying to make up for not serving his country in the military. As for him giving names to the House Un-American Activities Committee, the names he gave were shit bag anti-American commies and they deserved what they got. Deal with it.

  • July 6, 2008, 8:20 a.m. CST

    That's my new favourite catch phrase!

    by sonofbronson

    Thanks TomBodet for defending the Duke's work even if he was a racist bastard. I love the line "If Lee Marvin didn't give a shit, why should you?" That's a good line for everyday life.

  • July 6, 2008, 8:32 a.m. CST


    by fxmulder35

    Gotta agree with your assessment of THE COWBOYS, it's been a favorite for a long time. But I really don't see the Williams/Grusin connection. Have large chunks of both scores on CD, I can't see the connective tissue with CLONES and POND. The melodies are just so different. But great job on AMAD...look forward to all the rest!

  • July 6, 2008, 8:54 a.m. CST

    The horse gave Bruce Dern his comeuppance

    by Redc40

    "I will say that if I have any bones to pick… is that Bruce Dern doesn’t get a comeuppance equal to the evil he has done." WTF?!?! Unless we saw completely different movies, uh, yeah Bruce Dern gets his comeuppance in a pretty gruesome way.

  • July 6, 2008, 9:46 a.m. CST

    If Lee Marvin didn't give a shit, why should you?

    by moondoggy2u

    An excellent point, Tom Bodet, and more, I totally agree with you. However, with prejudiced people like Bacci, I doubt you'll ever make much headway. People like him have no problem reading/respecting Shakespeare, whose Merchant of Venice was extremely prejudicial, Polanski, who is a rapist, Kubrick, who was something of a conniving bastard, George C. Scott, who was a wife-beating asshole, or the hundreds of other actords, directors, and writers that were liars, abusers, cheaters, and negative personalities. However, when it comes to John Wayne, who by all accounts was a good man whose one flaw was that he, like most of his generation, had some prejudices against blacks. Oh sure, he was married to a hispanic woman (more than once), but he still had reservations about a people he didn't understand and wasn't educated to understand. Well, gee, stop the press! Lord knows that Bacci, Mr. I've Never Seen One Wayne Movie Because I Disaprove of Wayne And Am Only Spouting Justifications That I Got From Wikipedia With Only 3 Minutes Of Study, the obviously more enlightened, more nuanced human being has ever been subject to prejudicial attitudes. <p>Wayne's best friends were those that were unlike him. His wives were of completely different ethnicity. He was brave enough to debate with hordes of young, left-leaning minds in Berkley. He loved his country and its ideals. <p>Now, I realize that there are a lot of people at this site that disagrees wtih the man's politics. I'm also sure that there are plenty of people who mostly agree with Wayne's basic views and vehemently disagree with the likes of Harry and the majoritive opinions on his website. The imperitive fact that people like Bacci have to get through their skulls is that just because someone disagrees with them doesn't mean that person is a demon, bad, or even wrong. First and formost, the majority of both sides, and everyone caught in the middle, are AMERICANS who want what is best for their family, their fellow man, and their country.

  • July 6, 2008, 10:02 a.m. CST

    To put it in perspective..

    by moondoggy2u

    Washington, Jefferson, and a great many other historical figures believed in the ideals of our constitution and yet owned slaves. Does this mean they were evil men who were just fighting for the right to run rough-shod over others? In some cases, perhaps, but in most, no. Men are complicated creatures, full of positive characteristics, flaws, and some shadowy ideas that are often the product of half-realized idealogies or unintentionally contradictory notions. We're all a bunch of messes, and while there really are negative, nasty, mean-spirited people, there are also a lot of good people out there who do the best they can with what they have DESPITE their flaws, their mistakes.

  • July 6, 2008, 12:53 p.m. CST

    I love this talkback. Further proof that

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    there can be intelligent life on the AICN blog. By the way Tom Bodet I don't recall if that scene was in Silent Running or not. It's been ages, but I just don't recall. I know you're not talking about 2001. Another thing abot Silent Running is that I really don't care for Joan Baez, but her song in that movie was just so sad and haunting. As far as Dern being a villain in The Cowboys, the only actor I can think of who has been hated as much was The Scorpior Killer from Dirty Harry. I'm having a brain fart forgetting his name, but he actually had death threats. Trek haters aside, he added depth to the Cardassians in DS9.

  • July 6, 2008, 12:59 p.m. CST

    And don't be dissin The Black Hole

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Ernest Borgnine is still alive, and still man enough to put you haters down.

  • July 6, 2008, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Quint, do you like movies about gladiators?

    by Iowa Snot Client

    If you have Netflix and a PC, Silent Running is available for streaming.

  • July 6, 2008, 1:57 p.m. CST

    P.S. I hate John Wayne for being too liberal.

    by Iowa Snot Client

    Yes, I'm a proud extra-chromosome right-winger (thanks Al). I don't recall doing anything evil today, but I must have, being a Republican and all. I scrubbed the deck with Oxy-Clean; perhaps that was part of my evil plan to, um, what again?

  • July 6, 2008, 2:01 p.m. CST

    And for the hat trick...

    by Iowa Snot Client

    The Black Hole really is crap, I hate to say. I remember it being the last movie I saw at the local single-screen theater before they remodeled and broke it up into four tiny screens. So I really did get to see it on the big screen. I dug the spaceship design, though.

  • July 6, 2008, 2:03 p.m. CST

    this is a good movie...

    by Gungan Slayer

    However, when I first saw this as a kid I hated, HATED this movie...because of what happens to you know who...which, as a young kid, well it's unthinkable that something like that would happen to you know who in a movie. But a great film, solid in every aspect, and demonstrating once again that yes indeed, John Wayne can act.

  • July 6, 2008, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Quint -- These reviews are a great idea

    by Snookeroo

    Thanks for sharing. But really -- don't waste two hours of your life on the Black Hole. It's excrement on celluloid. Really. Really. Awful. It has no film history value other than being a Star Wars wannabe. One of Disney's nadirs. Just sayin'.

  • July 6, 2008, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Running Scared

    by pr1c3y

    I really dug the way they included this in Running Scared, I know that movie has it's haters but it was a cool ride to me.

  • July 6, 2008, 3:24 p.m. CST

    The Amazing Gay

    by pr1c3y

    It's a holiday weekend

  • July 6, 2008, 3:38 p.m. CST

    It's a holiday weekend?

    by Dark Knight Lite

    Liberals don't celebrate 4th of July. They should have taken off May 1. Back to work assoles!!!

  • July 6, 2008, 4:23 p.m. CST

    I've never seen Wake Of The Red Witch but...

    by Die_Hardest

    Did anybody notice *SPOILER FOR FUTURE EDITIONS TO THE LIST* that Quint has three movies in a row where John Wayne dies at the end? Hahaha. Way to pick em.

  • July 6, 2008, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Good points again Bodet, but I draw the line

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    at supporting works by Woody Allen and Roman Polanski.

  • July 6, 2008, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Fair enough Grammaton

    by Die_Hardest

    But if your wife were stabbed 57 times by acid freaks trying to start a race war, i dunno, you might do something crazy like a fuck a 15 year old girl too. Just sayin.

  • July 6, 2008, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Damn no edit button

    by Die_Hardest

    that should say pregnant wife

  • July 6, 2008, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Quint, don't forget The Shootist

    by Solomon Kane

    Jimmy Stewart & John Wayne & Ron Howard as a kid looking for a hero... or a reason. It's one of the Duke's finest. Ahyup.

  • July 6, 2008, 8:27 p.m. CST

    Musically I look at Ray Charles and BB

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    both were terrible husbands, terrible parents. They were married to to their music. I can appreciate their musically contributions to the world, but not their family values or lack thereof.

  • July 6, 2008, 8:40 p.m. CST

    A shame that tomorrow this will drop off the

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    top ten as new articles pop up. Speaking of terrible movies, I picked up Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny at the library. This is by far the worst movie I have ever seen. The intro should have told me how dumb this was. I know some people love Jack Black, but I'm not one of them. School of Rock was okay, as was Shallow Hal. I can't think of any movie of his I've loved. Tropic Thunder may work as it's an ensemble.

  • July 6, 2008, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Anyone Else Hate These Retro Review Things ON Main News?

    by BojTrek

    I am not being mean here... more power to the retro review thing... I have never read one of these... but I had to post... why not place them off CURRENT news? Create another section for this garbage? Now that was mean!

  • July 6, 2008, 9:10 p.m. CST


    by Rebeck2

    No curiosity about old movies, that's what I like in a movie geek. If you watched a movie made before 1980 once in a while, you might find your brain not turning into oatmeal quite so quickly as it clearly is now.

  • July 6, 2008, 9:24 p.m. CST


    by chrth

    I hope Quint did, I'd hate for him to miss a day

  • July 6, 2008, 9:24 p.m. CST

    How hard is it

    by PumpyMcAss

    to simply skip past the review if it bugs you so much? It is clearly marked as to what it is. Reminds me of the The Simpsons when Comic Book Guy has to wait a few seconds for his slow internet connection. "I'm a busy man." {Slurps soda).

  • July 6, 2008, 9:26 p.m. CST

    I'm a huge Wayne fan.

    by PumpyMcAss

    Thing is, though, that I usually just go for the ones he made with Ford and Hawks. This might be worth a look.

  • July 6, 2008, 9:51 p.m. CST

    Hey Rebeck2, I Was Born In 1970 And...

    by BojTrek

    Hey Rebeck2, I was born in 1970 and became a geek because of Star Trek TOS reruns, Space Giants, Ultraman, Jonny Socko... but I also loved old westerns... I am just saying these retro reviews or whatever they are in the way of NEWS... they should a Retro Review section on the main page. By the way, I also flip through old black/white movies and give most movies a chance... SO... sorry for my bitchin' all!

  • July 7, 2008, 6:44 a.m. CST


    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Never heard of it. Maybe I'll give it a shot. Oh there is one Black performance I love: Bruce Willis getting him with the .50 cal in The Jackal.

  • July 7, 2008, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Mr. Nightlinger taught me how to make apple pie

    by EriamJH

    "...and a third slit because that's the way your mother did it." What a great film.

  • July 7, 2008, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Great piece, Mori...

    by Roguewriter

    My dad showed me THE COWBOYS in 1979, when I was 12, and it instantly became (and likely remains) my all-time favorite Western. Vicious, exhilarating, and perfectly cast and shot. And you're right -- Roscoe Lee Browne's prayer ranks right up there with Quint's "Indianapolis Story" for me as one of the 2-3 all-time greatest sides of dialogue ever written and delivered. Unbeatable. LOVE this movie!!

  • July 7, 2008, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Bruce Dern owns every role he's had

    by ArcadianDS

    What was that silly anti-mafia boxing movie with Lou Gossett Jr - diggstown? He was awesome in that.<p> As for Wayne, some of you guys who are going on about how his movies are unwatchable because of his personal politics are the same deadbrained idiots who want us all to watch everything that Mike Moore has filmed, and to put his personal ego aside and see the film for what it is - you are, by the letter of the word, complete hypocrites.

  • July 7, 2008, 12:25 p.m. CST

    This has always been one of my favorites!

    by zer0cool2k2

    Saw The Cowboys when I was a kid. When I finally bought my Dad a DVD player, it was one of the first movies I bought for him. <p> It's also the first thing I ever saw Bruce Dern in, and for years I hated him, no matter what role he was playing. (Guess that's the mark of a good actor). And Browne's confessionary prayer does contain one of my favorite lines ever!

  • July 7, 2008, 1:47 p.m. CST


    by Die_Hardest

    Not excusing him, just sayin, people do fucked up shit for different reasons. And from all accounts the incident was suspicious at best.

  • July 7, 2008, 3:09 p.m. CST

    One of Wayne's finest movies

    by Odgie

    Quint: Thank you for writing about this one. It's about time "The Cowboys" got some love.

  • July 7, 2008, 4:11 p.m. CST

    I just did a double feature of this and Running Scared

    by JediRob

    Is kind of a fun juxtaposition. The Cowboys is one of my favorites and the last act make me cry every time.

  • July 7, 2008, 10:44 p.m. CST

    Wayne & WWII

    by CondomWrapper

    As others have mentioned, Wayne tried to enlist on multiple occasions but was blocked by the studio each time. He wanted to get into his pal John Ford's unit, apparently. But you're also forgetting another very important role John Wayne played in WWII: Allied propaganda pictures. His gung-ho pro-Allies war pictures like Back to Bataan were a crucial part of convincing the American public that the war was worth fighting and that the Allies would win. Don't underestimate the power of film, especially at a time when far more people went to the movies than they do today. And, after the war, Wayne did a lot for the US military. He went and visited the boys in 'Nam and was actually shot at by a VC sniper hoping to kill one of the biggest symbols of American might and right.

  • July 8, 2008, 9:58 a.m. CST

    My bad, Quint...

    by Roguewriter

    I wrote "Moriarty" instead of "Quint." The brain, she is rusty. Nice work, sir.