Cowboy Up

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Cowboy Up
Cowboy Up.jpg
Directed by Xavier Koller
Produced by Al Corley (producer)
Eugene Musso (producer)
Bart Rosenblatt (producer)
Written by James Redford
Starring Kiefer Sutherland
Music by Daniel Licht
Cinematography Andrew Dintenfass
Edited by Anthony Sherin
Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment
Release date(s) July 11, 2001
Running time 105 mins.
Country United States
Language English

Cowboy Up is a 2001 film directed by Xavier Koller. It stars Kiefer Sutherland and Marcus Thomas.[1] It won the Crystal Heart Award at the 2001 Heartland Film Festival.[2]


Rising rodeo star Ely Braxton (Marcus Thomas) is recovering from injuries that almost took his life. Against the wishes of his mother Rose Braxton (Melinda Dillon) and girlfriend Connie (Molly Ringwald), Ely starts riding bulls again in order to achieve his dream of becoming a champion bull rider like his father, Reid Braxton (Pete Postlethwaite). Ely's older brother, Hank (Kiefer Sutherland), is a champion bullfighter and stock contractor and the two use each other to better their rodeo skills and work together at their family ranch in Santa Maria, California. As Ely's rodeo career becomes highly successful he starts a relationship with Celia Jones (Daryl Hannah), who is a barrel racer and Hank's love interest. Hank is consumed with anger and jealousy at Ely's betrayal and the brothers become estranged. At the championship rodeo in Las Vegas Ely, having ended his relationship with Celia, draws Hank's unridden and greatly feared bull Zapata and asks for Hank's help. Hank tells Ely to let go of the past memories that he's being carrying around his entire life and gives Ely the address of their father's house in Las Vegas. Ely meets his father but his father doesn't recognize Ely and thinks he's a rodeo reporter but Ely says he's just a bull rider and Ely realizes that his father isn't the hero he's idolized him to be. Ely successfully rides Zapata but is injured and in the process Hank rushes to save Ely from Zapata but is killed when Zapata crushes Hank's chest. When the Braxton ranch hand and family friend Joe (Russell Means) brings Zapata back to the Braxton ranch Rose grabs a shotgun and almost shoots Zapata in her grief over Hank's death but Joe and Ely talk her down and say they will shoot Zapata but Ely remembers Hank's pride in Zapata and shoots into the air as Zapata calmly walks into the pasture as Joe tells Ely that Hank wouldn't have shot Zapata.



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