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But every deck has a joker and in this story it is Long Hale, played with wild-eyed psychotic subtlety by the exceptional Bruce Dern. Anderson knows a vicious criminal when he sees one and Hale is the dictionary definition in Wil's book.
Anderson refuses to hire Hale and his "friends" for the cattle ride. Better done with the school boys. But Hale has a surprise in store for Wil.
He's following the cattle ride and plans to rustle the herd away from Anderson. What kind of resistance will 11 kids have against a gang of over a dozen seasoned killers"?
Directed with consummate skill by the brilliant and unheralded Mark Rydell the man also responsible for The Reivers and On Golden Pond , he bathes the film in rich russets, dark and supple browns, creamy beige, and captures the dusty plains, the sparse autumn woodlands, the cow hides, horse flesh, leather, ropes, and tumbleweeds of the Old West with an almost pastoral beauty.
This picture is gorgeous to look at! John Williams contributes a vibrant and energetic score what else would you expect? Wayne is just right as Anderson.
He sort of softens his John Wayne persona for the role and hits all the right notes. But it is Roscoe Lee Browne who stands out in this film.
He is the brightest penny in a cast full of bright pennies. He, too forges a bond with the boys in the moment of everyone's darkest hour through his understanding that they've become men worthy of his respect and praise and, while he may not be able to achieve a surrogate father role, he becomes their trusted uncle and one of them.
How the boys resolve the theft of the cattle herd and exact a fitting justice on the evil Long Hale is nothing short of brilliant. And the arrival of the cattle into Belle Fouche is almost tear producing as the town and we the viewers understand the price of manhood.
This is not a western for pre-teens or younger. The language is rough and Nightlinger is referred to by the "N" word frequently.
But for teens and older, this is a great introduction to John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, and westerns in general.
It is also a chance to get to know the work of one of Hollywood's true great contemporary directors, Mark Rydell. I would love to tell you more but, as Nightlinger points out at a key moment in this film, "I have the inclination.
I have the maturity. I have the where-with-all. Sadly, I do not have the time. All Titles TV Episodes Celebs Companies Keywords Advanced Search.
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Today's working cowgirls generally use clothing, tools and equipment indistinguishable from that of men, other than in color and design, usually preferring a flashier look in competition.
Sidesaddles are only seen in exhibitions and a limited number of specialty horse show classes. A modern working cowgirl wears jeans, close-fitting shirts, boots, hat, and when needed, chaps and gloves.
If working on the ranch, they perform the same chores as cowboys and dress to suit the situation. Geography, climate and cultural traditions caused differences to develop in cattle-handling methods and equipment from one part of the United States to another.
The period between and marked a mingling of cultures when English and French-descended people began to settle west of the Mississippi River and encountered the Spanish-descended people who had settled in the parts of Mexico that later became Texas and California.
Less well-known but equally distinct traditions also developed in Hawaii and Florida. Today, the various regional cowboy traditions have merged to some extent, though a few regional differences in equipment and riding style still remain, and some individuals choose to deliberately preserve the more time-consuming but highly skilled techniques of the pure vaquero or "buckaroo" tradition.
The popular "horse whisperer" style of natural horsemanship was originally developed by practitioners who were predominantly from California and the Northwestern states, clearly combining the attitudes and philosophy of the California vaquero with the equipment and outward look of the Texas cowboy.
The vaquero, the Spanish or Mexican cowboy who worked with young, untrained horses, arrived in the 18th century and flourished in California and bordering territories during the Spanish Colonial period.
The California vaquero or buckaroo, unlike the Texas cowboy, was considered a highly skilled worker, who usually stayed on the same ranch where he was born or had grown up and raised his own family there.
In addition, the geography and climate of much of California was dramatically different from that of Texas, allowing more intensive grazing with less open range, plus cattle in California were marketed primarily at a regional level, without the need nor, until much later, even the logistical possibility to be driven hundreds of miles to railroad lines.
Thus, a horse- and livestock-handling culture remained in California and the Pacific Northwest that retained a stronger direct Spanish influence than that of Texas.
The modern distinction between vaquero and buckaroo within American English may also reflect the parallel differences between the California and Texas traditions of western horsemanship.
Some cowboys of the California tradition were dubbed buckaroos by English-speaking settlers. The words "buckaroo" and vaquero are still used on occasion in the Great Basin , parts of California and, less often, in the Pacific Northwest.
Elsewhere, the term "cowboy" is more common. The word buckaroo is generally believed to be an anglicized version of vaquero and shows phonological characteristics compatible with that origin.
In the 18th century, the residents of Spanish Texas began to herd cattle on horseback to sell in Louisiana, both legally and illegally.
In , Stephen F. Austin led a group which became the first English-speaking Mexican citizens. Here the settlers were strongly influenced by the Mexican vaquero culture, borrowing vocabulary and attire from their counterparts,  but also retaining some of the livestock-handling traditions and culture of the Eastern United States and Great Britain.
The Texas cowboy was typically a bachelor who hired on with different outfits from season to season. Following the American Civil War , vaquero culture combined with the cattle herding and drover traditions of the southeastern United States that evolved as settlers moved west.
Additional influences developed out of Texas as cattle trails were created to meet up with the railroad lines of Kansas and Nebraska , in addition to expanding ranching opportunities in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain Front , east of the Continental Divide.
This led to modifications in the bridling and bitting traditions used by the vaquero. Historian Terry Jordan proposed in that some Texan traditions that developed—particularly after the Civil War—may trace to colonial South Carolina, as most settlers to Texas were from the southeastern United States.
The Florida "cowhunter" or " cracker cowboy" of the 19th and early 20th centuries was distinct from the Texas and California traditions.
Florida cowboys did not use lassos to herd or capture cattle. Their primary tools were bullwhips and dogs. Since the Florida cowhunter did not need a saddle horn for anchoring a lariat , many did not use Western saddles , instead using a McClellan saddle.
While some individuals wore boots that reached above the knees for protection from snakes , others wore brogans. They usually wore inexpensive wool or straw hats, and used ponchos for protection from rain.
Cattle and horses were introduced into Spanish Florida in the 16th century,  and flourished throughout the 17th century. Augustine and markets in Cuba.
Raids into Spanish Florida by the Province of Carolina and its Native American allies, which wiped out the native population of Florida, led to the collapse of the Spanish mission and ranching systems.
In the 18th century, Creek , Seminole , and other Indian people moved into the depopulated areas of Florida and started herding the cattle left from the Spanish ranches.
In the 19th century, most tribes in the area were dispossessed of their land and cattle and pushed south or west by white settlers and the United States government.
By the middle of the 19th century white ranchers were running large herds of cattle on the extensive open range of central and southern Florida.
The hides and meat from Florida cattle became such a critical supply item for the Confederacy during the American Civil War that a unit of Cow Cavalry was organized to round up and protect the herds from Union raiders.
The Florida cowhunter or cracker cowboy tradition gradually assimilated to western cowboy tradition during the 20th century although the vaquero tradition has had little influence in Florida.
Texas tick fever and the screw-worm were introduced to Florida in the early 20th century by cattle entering from other states.
These pests forced Florida cattlemen to separate individual animals from their herds at frequent intervals for treatment, which eventually led to the widespread use of lassos.
Florida cowboys continue to use dogs and bullwhips for controlling cattle. The Hawaiian cowboy, the paniolo , is also a direct descendant of the vaquero of California and Mexico.
Paniolo, like cowboys on the mainland of North America, learned their skills from Mexican vaqueros. Captain George Vancouver brought cattle and sheep in as a gift to Kamehameha I , monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
For 10 years, Kamehameha forbade killing of cattle, and imposed the death penalty on anyone who violated his edict. As a result, numbers multiplied astonishingly, and were wreaking havoc throughout the countryside.
By the reign of Kamehameha III the number of wild cattle were becoming a problem, so in he sent an emissary to California, then still a part of Mexico.
He was impressed with the skill of the vaqueros, and invited three to Hawai'i to teach the Hawaiian people how to work cattle.
The first horses arrived in Hawai'i in By John Parker, a sailor from New England who settled in the islands, received permission from Kamehameha III to lease royal land near Mauna Kea, where he built a ranch.
The Hawaiian style of ranching originally included capturing wild cattle by driving them into pits dug in the forest floor. Once tamed somewhat by hunger and thirst, they were hauled out up a steep ramp, and tied by their horns to the horns of a tame, older steer or ox that knew where the paddock with food and water was located.
The industry grew slowly under the reign of Kamehameha's son Liholiho Kamehameha II. Even today, traditional paniolo dress, as well as certain styles of Hawaiian formal attire, reflect the Spanish heritage of the vaquero.
Montauk, New York , on Long Island makes a somewhat debatable claim of having the oldest cattle operation in what today is the United States, having run cattle in the area since European settlers purchased land from the Indian people of the area in On the Eastern Shore of Virginia , the "Salt Water Cowboys" are known for rounding up the feral Chincoteague Ponies from Assateague Island and driving them across Assateague Channel into pens on Chincoteague Island during the annual Pony Penning.
Ranching in Canada has traditionally been dominated by one province, Alberta. The most successful early settlers of the province were the ranchers, who found Alberta's foothills to be ideal for raising cattle.
Most of Alberta's ranchers were English settlers, but cowboys such as John Ware —who brought the first cattle into the province in —were American.
The nearby city of Calgary became the centre of the Canadian cattle industry, earning it the nickname "Cowtown".
The cattle industry is still extremely important to Alberta, and cattle outnumber people in the province. While cattle ranches defined by barbed-wire fences replaced the open range just as they did in the US, the cowboy influence lives on.
Canada's first rodeo, the Raymond Stampede , was established in In , the Calgary Stampede began, and today it is the world's richest cash rodeo.
Each year, Calgary's northern rival Edmonton , Alberta stages the Canadian Finals Rodeo , and dozens of regional rodeos are held through the province.
In Australia , where ranches are known as stations , cowboys are known as stockmen and ringers, jackaroos and jillaroos who also do stockwork are trainee overseers and property managers.
The adaptation of both of these traditions to local needs created a unique Australian tradition, which also was strongly influenced by Australian indigenous people , whose knowledge played a key role in the success of cattle ranching in Australia's climate.
The idea of horse riders who guard herds of cattle, sheep or horses is common wherever wide, open land for grazing exists.
In the French Camargue , riders called " gardians " herd cattle and horses. The herders in the region of Maremma , in Tuscany Italy are called butteri singular: buttero.
The Asturian pastoral population is referred to as Vaqueiros de alzada. On the ranch, the cowboy is responsible for feeding the livestock, branding and earmarking cattle horses also are branded on many ranches , plus tending to animal injuries and other needs.
The working cowboy usually is in charge of a small group or "string" of horses and is required to routinely patrol the rangeland in all weather conditions checking for damaged fences, evidence of predation , water problems, and any other issue of concern.
They also move the livestock to different pasture locations, or herd them into corrals and onto trucks for transport.
In addition, cowboys may do many other jobs, depending on the size of the "outfit" or ranch , the terrain , and the number of livestock.
On a smaller ranch with fewer cowboys—often just family members, cowboys are generalists who perform many all-around tasks; they repair fences, maintain ranch equipment, and perform other odd jobs.
On a very large ranch a "big outfit" , with many employees, cowboys are able to specialize on tasks solely related to cattle and horses. Cowboys who train horses often specialize in this task only, and some may "Break" or train young horses for more than one ranch.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics collects no figures for cowboys, so the exact number of working cowboys is unknown.
In addition to cowboys working on ranches, in stockyards, and as staff or competitors at rodeos , the category includes farmhands working with other types of livestock sheep , goats , hogs , chickens , etc.
Of those 9, workers, 3, are listed in the subcategory of Spectator sports which includes rodeos, circuses , and theaters needing livestock handlers.
Most cowboy attire, sometimes termed Western wear , grew out of practical need and the environment in which the cowboy worked. Most items were adapted from the Mexican vaqueros , though sources from other cultures, including Native Americans and Mountain Men contributed.
Many of these items show marked regional variations. Parameters such as hat brim width, or chap length and material were adjusted to accommodate the various environmental conditions encountered by working cowboys.
The traditional means of transport for the cowboy, even in the modern era, is by horseback. Horses can travel over terrain that vehicles cannot access.
Horses, along with mules and burros , also serve as pack animals. The most important horse on the ranch is the everyday working ranch horse that can perform a wide variety of tasks; horses trained to specialize exclusively in one set of skills such as roping or cutting are very rarely used on ranches.
Because the rider often needs to keep one hand free while working cattle, the horse must neck rein and have good cow sense —it must instinctively know how to anticipate and react to cattle.
A good stock horse is on the small side, generally under While a steer roping horse may need to be larger and weigh more in order to hold a heavy adult cow , bull or steer on a rope, a smaller, quick horse is needed for herding activities such as cutting or calf roping.
The horse has to be intelligent, calm under pressure and have a certain degree of 'cow sense" — the ability to anticipate the movement and behavior of cattle.
Many breeds of horse make good stock horses, but the most common today in North America is the American Quarter Horse , which is a horse breed developed primarily in Texas from a combination of Thoroughbred bloodstock crossed on horses of Mustang and other Iberian horse ancestry, with influences from the Arabian horse and horses developed on the east coast, such as the Morgan horse and now- extinct breeds such as the Chickasaw and Virginia Quarter-Miler.
Equipment used to ride a horse is referred to as tack and includes:. The most common motorized vehicle driven in modern ranch work is the pickup truck.
Sturdy and roomy, with a high ground clearance, and often four-wheel drive capability, it has an open box, called a "bed," and can haul supplies from town or over rough trails on the ranch.
It is used to pull stock trailers transporting cattle and livestock from one area to another and to market.
With a horse trailer attached, it carries horses to distant areas where they may be needed. Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present.
The Oregon Trail was a roughly 2,mile route from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon City, Oregon, which was used by hundreds of thousands of American pioneers in the mids to emigrate west.
The trail was arduous and snaked through Missouri and present-day Kansas, Conestoga wagons, with their distinctive curved floors and canvas covers arched In the spring of , a group of nearly 90 emigrants left Springfield, Illinois, and headed west.
Led by brothers Jacob and George Donner, the group attempted to take a new and supposedly shorter route to California. They soon encountered rough terrain and numerous delays, and One of the most famous figures to emerge from the colorful 19th-century history of the American West, Wyatt Earp was known first and foremost for his participation in a notorious gunfight at the O.
Corral in Tombstone, Arizona in Both before and after that The Louisiana Purchase stretched from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from Canada to New Orleans, and it doubled the size of the United States.
Buffalo soldiers were African American soldiers who mainly served on the Western frontier following the American Civil War.
In , six all-Black cavalry and infantry regiments were created after Congress passed the Army Organization Act. Their main tasks were to help control Daniel Boone was an early American frontiersman who gained fame for his hunting and trailblazing expeditions through the Cumberland Gap, a natural pass through the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky.
Boone achieved folk hero status during his lifetime, but The Lewis and Clark Expedition began in , when President Thomas Jefferson tasked Meriwether Lewis with exploring lands west of the Mississippi River that comprised the Louisiana Purchase.
Lewis chose William Clark as his co-leader for the mission. The excursion lasted over Davy Crockett was a frontiersman, soldier, politician, congressman and prolific storyteller.
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