Josh Olson on

The Cowboys

Released 1972
Distributor Warner Bros.

The always-idiosyncratic Bruce Dern achieves a new level of screen villainy as the stringy-haired cattle-thief psychopath in Mark Rydell’s out-of-the-ordinary John Wayne vehicle. Controversial in its day, it’s one of Wayne’s best latter-day projects, seemingly designed as a kind of swan song– but that actually came several years later with The Shootist. Followed by a short-lived tv series.

About Josh Olson

Josh Olson  was the only student in his second grade class to see The House That Dripped Blood.  Many years later, he wrote and directed the no-budget horror film, Infested, a brutal assault on The Big Chill, with zombies. He went on to write the screenplay for A History of Violence and was nominated for the WGA, BAFTA and Academy Awards for Best Screenplay. He kept losing to Larry McMurtry, but that’s okay.  He co-wrote the teleplay for the Masters of Science Fiction episode, The Discarded, with Harlan Ellison, and is currently writing a sophisticated thriller, Tabloid, for Mick Jagger.