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The Cowboys [HD DVD] (1972)

John Wayne  |  PG |  HD DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (371 customer reviews)

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• IMPORTANT NOTICE: This high-definition disc will only play in an HD DVD player. It will not play in a standard-definition DVD player, Blu-ray player, or PS3.

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Wayne
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Original recording remastered, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2007
  • Run Time: 131 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (371 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000P6XU5Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,682 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Cowboys [HD DVD]" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

This is an HD DVD, and will NOT play in regular DVD or Bluray players. If you do not know what an HD DVD is, DO NOT BUY THIS.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
76 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Duke and company in fine style in "The Cowboys" March 13, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I'm puzzled by the negative reviews (vide supra). If the story's a little thin, then the acting more than makes up for it. John Wayne and Roscoe Lee Browne lead a cattle drive across the West with the aid of the only help they could find, schoolboys. They are trailed by some bad guys. So much for the story. But Wayne and Browne give superb performances, truly, and the boys more than hold up their end. Bruce Dern's a memorable villain who gets his. (Wayne is shot 1 hr., 50 min. into the picture--certainly not "early on"!) I rate this movie 4 stars because, sure, "Stagecoach" and "The Searchers" and the U.S. Cavalry trio rank higher; but 4 stars on the Wayne scale ain't too shabby. One day the world will come around to the realization that John Wayne was one of the greatest screen actors ever to walk through Hollywood.
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57 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Duke's best! May 22, 1999
This is absolutely one of the best of the best. John Wayne plays Wil Anderson, a rancher forced to use young boys to get his herd to market when his men desert him in search of gold. There are many wonderful messages in this film about duty, honor, and responsibility. They are messages our nation and our young people are in great need of right now. This movie contains many memorable and haunting scenes, but none more so then when Wayne is forced into a confrontation with Bruce Dern to protect the young boys he has on the cattle drive. He gives his life, and teaches them the meaning of strength, honor, and courage. I could not disagree more with Leonard Maltin's review - the message is not to seek violent revenge; the boys simply "finish the job" they were hired to do and take the money from the sale of the herd back to Wil Anderson's wife. This film captures the greatness of Wayne's legacy, and why he is so adored by millions of Americans who hold duty and courage dear. If I had to recommend only one John Wayne film to someone who had never seen one, this would be it. Truly unforgettable!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Belief Suspension? April 25, 2006
These comments will appear under my wife's name, but it's just because I don't know how to correct it, so my name appears. I had to comment on one reviewer who doubted the reality of the fact that boys function in this Western like they did. I grew up on a very large farm/ranch in the West. My father taught me how to shoot a .22 pistol when I was in the [...] to protect the family from snakes that slithered and those who wandered in from the Interstate looking for trouble. I never had to use it. Part of the lesson was never touching it unless there was a life-threatening emergency. My dad also taught me now to ride a horse when I was very young, and by the time I was in the [...] herding cattle was not a problem. I replaced a hired hand on the ranch when I was in the [...] And my father assumed those roles at an earlier age. His father, as an eighth grader, went to Denver alone on a train with a load of the family's sheep. My grandfather sold them and returned home without a problem. He did what my great grandfather expected of him. So what do I think of one reviewer's doubts about boys functioning like they do in the film? The answer to that question is obvious. This film is fantastic. And according to my own experience and family stories about myself, my father, my grandfather and his brothers, the film's message that cowboys began their work at an early age makes sense. During this time, boys learned responsibility at an early time in their lives. For those who know anything about history, think about the young soldiers who fought and unfortunately died in the Civil War. Just because our present mind set views things differently, doesn't mean that the past held the same stereotypes to be true. This film is a classic, because it shows boys becoming men as they faced a difficult taskmaster, hard work, large responsibilities and adult decisions.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Consider the movie within the time period it portrays September 24, 2005
No, this movie does not contain the distilled wisdom of the ages, but those who compare the movie against the accepted child-rearing practices of the present day are letting their post-modern self-righteousness flare to the point where they may need to take a "time out." It is unlikely that 12-year-olds would participate in a cattle drive, granted, but it was entirely acceptable for 16- or 17-year-olds to "do a man's work and make a man's wage" in those days. It was also a time when John Wayne's widow could not have filed an insurance claim for the stolen herd, or applied for Federal disaster relief, and the movie makes it clear that this herd represented the difference between a reasonable retirement and "working out her days as someone's fry cook." Justice was often swift and harsh in the Old West because real people suffered real consequences from the effects of crime. Therefore it was NOT a sense of vengence, as one reviewer asserts, that drove the later scenes, it was a sense of justice. And while the ages of the "cowboys" in the film are a little too young, the film accurately reflects what used to be "coming of age" in frontier America: A boy became a man when he accepted a man's responsibilities and did a man's work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of John Wayne's Best Movies November 26, 2004
Even though many of the actual filming locations were in Colorado and New Mexico, the Cowboys is an excellent western that captures the true spirit of the open range in the Montana-South Dakota region of the late 1800's. Despite the fact that John Wayne won his Academy Award as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit, his performance as Wil Anderson in The Cowboys is probably his best role. Many people may like other John Wayne movies more, but The Cowboys helped him break away from the tired, typical co-stars who were so prevalent in his earlier westerns. Credit must also be given to Bruce Dern who was very good as bad guy Asa Watts, and composer John Williams for his stirring theme music. Along with The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Cowboys is one of John Wayne's finest films.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wayne, The Kids, Bruce Dern ---- Can't beat the combination.
Published 1 day ago by I'll give it a try
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars... Great Movie for the whole family
Very good movie... High picture quality for a 1973 film.

We really enjoyed it... Not the sort of cheezy one liner kind of John Wayne movie... Very well done.
Published 1 day ago by PJBoro
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Excellent movie
Published 11 days ago by Nicholas Yannuzzi
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Item arrived as described. No complaints
Published 15 days ago by Jim
5.0 out of 5 stars John Wayne true classic
I watched this countless times as a kid and I still love were the villain gets dragged away screaming. Nothing comes close except for Nevada Smith, another favorite.
Published 16 days ago by Jesse Payne
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cowboys review
It has been many years since I have seen this movie. After I got done watching, I had forgotten this is only 1 of 2 John Wayne movies I enjoy. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Georgia Ayres
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
loved this movie
Published 19 days ago by meowmeowmama
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellant movie young and old
Published 20 days ago by gary heller
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best!
One of the best movies John Wayne made!
Published 21 days ago by Renee Sanchez
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldwatch John Wayne all day
I could watch John Wayne all day, even these later ones. One part I did not like about this one was watching Bruce Dern kill the Duke.....just hard to watch.
Published 22 days ago by Spence Adcock
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Topic From this Discussion
Typographical Error On Back Cover
It's not a typo. In 1971, the MPAA rating system was in its infancy. The ratings have changed over the years. For instance, there used to be an "M" rating (mature audiences).

GP was one of the early rating categories. It meant "For the General Public - Parental Guidance... Read More
Sep 24, 2011 by Paul Terrell |  See all 2 posts
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