Cowboy (1958 film)

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Cowboy 1958 poster.jpg
1958 Theatrical Poster
Directed by Delmer Daves
Produced by Julian Blaustein
Written by Frank Harris (book)
Dalton Trumbo
Edmund H. North
Starring Glenn Ford
Jack Lemmon
Anna Kashfi
Dick York
King Donovan
Music by George Duning
Cinematography Charles Lawton, Jr.
Edited by Al Clark
William A. Lyon
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
February 19, 1958 (1958-02-19)
Running time
92 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Cowboy is a 1958 western film directed by Delmer Daves and starring Glenn Ford and Jack Lemmon. This film is an adaptation of the Frank Harris semi-autobiographical novel My Reminiscences as a Cowboy. Lemmon's character is based on Harris. The opening animated title sequence was created by Saul Bass.


Frank Harris (Jack Lemmon) is a Chicago hotel clerk who dreams of being a cowboy and has fallen in love with Maria (Anna Kashfi), the daughter of hotel guest and Mexican cattle baron Señor Vidal (Donald Randolph). When Señor Vidal finds out, he orders Harris to stay away.

Tom Reece (Glenn Ford) finishes his cattle drive and takes over an entire wing of the hotel, as usual. He makes a deal for Vidal's herd in Mexico. However, when Reece loses his profits in a poker game, Harris sees his opportunity to better himself (and see Maria again) - he offers his entire life savings for a partnership in Reece's next drive. Reece accepts.

The next morning, when Harris shows up, Reece tries to renege, not wanting to burden himself with an inexperienced greenhorn, but Harris holds him to their deal. As they travel to Vidal's ranch, life on the trail is not what Harris had envisioned. Reece treats him harshly, but he toughens up and Reece starts taking a liking to him.

When they reach their destination, Harris is devastated to learn that Maria has been married off by her father to Don Manuel Arriega (Eugene Iglesias). When Arriega sees them together, he warns Harris to keep away. During a fiesta, Arriega performs a dangerous stunt, placing a ring on a bull's horn from his horse, and challenges the Americans to do the same. Harris takes up his challenge, but Reece intercedes. Reece confronts the bull on foot so as not to endanger his horse.

On the cattle drive back to Chicago, Maria's marriage eats away at Harris. He becomes as callous and hostile to others as Reece had previously been to him. Reece offers some advice, but Harris refuses to listen. However, after Reece saves his life, Harris snaps out of it. At the end of the drive, they boisterously take over part of the hotel where Harris used to work, much to the surprise of his former boss.


DVD release[edit]

The film was released on DVD in Region 1 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on May 14, 2002.[1]

Award nominations[edit]

Al Clark and William A. Lyon were nominated for the Oscar for "Best Film Editing" in 1958 for their work on Cowboy,[2] and a Directors Guild of America award for "Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures" went to Daves.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cowboy (1958)". Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "1958 Academy Awards". HighBeam Research. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "11th Annual DGA Awards". (Click "Winners and Nominees"). Retrieved 9 July 2012. 

External links[edit]