It seems Ben can't move without making one costly mistake or another, and he isn't aggressive enough when horse thieves attack. What happens thereafter is that Grimes and the audience must cope with the fact that in those days there was no law, and often no justice. Solidarity is an illusion, as the cowpokes are liable to shoot each other over trivial matters. Seeing Ben Mockridge lose his wide-eyed innocence working for Culpepper makes the movie a must see in itself and will change all of our romantic ideas about frontier life. Great efforts are made to establish historic authenticity and detail.
Notable lines from the movie: Young cowboy. Teach you to mess with the Ben Express. Otherwise, it's every man for himself. Perhaps the most shocking thing is the fact that the associate producer is one Jerry Bruckheimer! I have even looked for it on Laserdisc I never saw it. My ma says we wait. Dick is a good craftsman who has directed a few films but of great quality , such as this ¨The Culpepper Cattle¨ , ¨Death valley¨ , ¨Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins ¨ and ¨March or die¨ which along with ¨The Culpepper Cattle Co¨ were both financed by the great producer of blockbusters Jerry Bruckheimer. The performances of Geoffrey Lewis and Billy Green Bush are spot-on.
You tie them standing up, not after you get on the horse. Those two engage in this crazy hysterical laugh before the final shootout. When Ben stands night watch, he's unprepared for a one-eyed man trying to steal the horses. When Ben handles Caldwell's gun without his permission, the touchy Caldwell goes into a snit, and knocks Ben to the ground. I have to agree with one other of the previous posters that the end of the movie was a bit contrived ----I mean how many gunfights in the old west between at least a dozen participants end with every single man except the kid on both sides dead at the scene? Violent and beautifully shot, I recommend it to all lovers of film.
Culpepper responds that Green need only leave to be safe, which is what he intends to do, as it is less than two weeks to Fort Lewis, and selling his cattle is all he cares about. With the exception of Ben Mockridge's 1850s-era percussion-cap pistol, the other pistols and rifles date from the early 1870s to the mid-1890s. The quality of the camera work and the sparse sets create the sense of stepping into a time bottle. In the ensuing shootout, everyone in the Caldwell and Pierce parties—except Ben—is killed. It doesn't seem to be run much. This agreeable Western was well directed by Dick Richards , recreating compellingly this thrilling story ; being debut of Richards and whose best movie resulted to be ¨Farewell my lovely¨.
He learns, tragically, something completely different, after working for a short time on a cattle drive. The story is almost violent, but this has to be seen in the context of the offenses against Frank Culpepper and his party. Gone are the heroic ideals of the classic Western, the polished spurs and men of integrity, replaced with unwashed scoundrels who'd sooner fight amongst themselves than show charity or mercy to people in need. Setting out from his California farm, Ben works for the cynical cook Raymond Guth and is given menial tasks, soon realizing that a cowboy's life is not the romantic adventure he had imagined. After rustlers stampede the herd, Culpepper tracks them to a box canyon. I am going to purchase the video.
I wish I had one. The plot: Dreaming about being a cowboy, Ben Mockridge nervously goes up to legendary cowboy Frank Culpepper,and ask if he can join him and his gangs latest cattle drive. These foul mouthed, gritty, onery cowboys are, by comparison, looking better all the time. It was so well done and the cast is some of the best western actors you can get!!!! I suggest this as required viewing for anyone with an interest in the Old West. It is not only a classic Western but a classic film, period.
And the cowboys talk as though they are real cowboys. My son loves western movies and thats about all he will watch. Rating: A rite-of-passage film that sets a young boy, Grimes, against the murderous ways of the West. An interesting film that is a must for western buffs. So overlooked and no real good reason why. For Ben and the audience both, it is hard to distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys in this movie; almost all of the characters ride the fence between morality and immorality.
Kiss my ass, Tim Slater, if you can it! The role reversal at movie's end is stunning, given what Hollywood has led us to expect. I all I want to do. This is easily one of the best westerns made. Ben tries to befriend his buddies, but they're only a team when violence threatens. Contemporary photos indicate that, while cowboys often had mustaches sometimes quite fancy , beards were not common—one out of twenty cowboys, perhaps. As Ben Mockridge feels life in a Wild West farm town has nothing better to offer , as he only enjoys horse-cart racing with his friends , so he begs cattle company owner Frank Culpepper to engage him as youngest cowboy for a long cattle trail and his mummy barely notices. The Culpepper Cattle Company 1972.