The Wayne/Dern showdown & Browne's prayer are don't miss, quintessential western moments.
The Cowboys is a 1972 Western motion picture starring John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Slim Pickens, A Martinez and Bruce Dern. Robert Carradine makes his film debut with fellow child actor Stephen R. Hudis. It was filmed at various locations in New Mexico, Colorado and at Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank, California. Based on the novel by William Dale Jennings, the screenplay was written by Irving Ravetch, Harriet Frank, Jr., and Jennings, and directed by Mark Rydell.
When his ranch hands abandon him to join a gold rush, rancher Wil Andersen (John Wayne) is forced to find replacement drovers for his yearly 400-mile (640 km) long cattle drive. He rides into deserted Bozeman, Montana. There, Anse Peterson (Slim Pickens) suggests using local schoolboys. Andersen visits the school but departs unconvinced. The next morning, a group of the boys show up at Andersen's ranch to volunteer for the drive. Andersen tests the boys' ability to stay on a bucking horse. As the boys successfully take...