The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

PG | 135 mins | Western | 1976

Director:

Clint Eastwood

Producer:

Robert Daley

Cinematographer:

Bruce Surtees

Editor:

Ferris Webster

Production Designer:

Tambi Larsen

Production Company:

Malpaso Company
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HISTORY

A 1 Jul 1975 HR article announced that Clint Eastwood would star in the film, Outlaw – Josey Wales , an adaptation of the Forrest Carter novel Gone to Texas , with a scheduled Bicentennial Celebration release. That fall, an 11 Sep 1975 DV news item reported that Eastwood’s production company, Malpaso Co., moved to The Burbank Studios, with Josey Wales, Rebel Outlaw as the first production on its schedule.
       According to a 9 Jul 1975 LAHExam news item, The Outlaw Josey Wales was scheduled to shoot at Warner Bros. Studios, though most of Eastwood’s recent films had been shot at Universal. Location shooting took place in Kanab, Utah, according to a 27 Oct 1975 Box news item, as well as Tucson, Arizona and Oroville, California, as stated in a 7 Dec 1975 LAHExam article. After two weeks of shooting, a 29 Oct 1975 Var news item announced that Eastwood had replaced director Philip Kaufman, who also adapted the screenplay, due to “creative differences.” Kaufman’s last day on the shoot was 24 Oct 1975. The 7 Dec 1975 LAHExam article quoted Eastwood as saying, “I hadn’t fired anyone before and I found it a very tough thing to do.”
       A 16 Jun 1976 Var story announced the film’s premiere at the opening night of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities Conference on Western Movies on 29 Jun 1975. The film opened to tepid critical reception. A 28 Jun 1976 DV review noted the film’s mortality rate of “approximately one corpse every 90 ... More Less

A 1 Jul 1975 HR article announced that Clint Eastwood would star in the film, Outlaw – Josey Wales , an adaptation of the Forrest Carter novel Gone to Texas , with a scheduled Bicentennial Celebration release. That fall, an 11 Sep 1975 DV news item reported that Eastwood’s production company, Malpaso Co., moved to The Burbank Studios, with Josey Wales, Rebel Outlaw as the first production on its schedule.
       According to a 9 Jul 1975 LAHExam news item, The Outlaw Josey Wales was scheduled to shoot at Warner Bros. Studios, though most of Eastwood’s recent films had been shot at Universal. Location shooting took place in Kanab, Utah, according to a 27 Oct 1975 Box news item, as well as Tucson, Arizona and Oroville, California, as stated in a 7 Dec 1975 LAHExam article. After two weeks of shooting, a 29 Oct 1975 Var news item announced that Eastwood had replaced director Philip Kaufman, who also adapted the screenplay, due to “creative differences.” Kaufman’s last day on the shoot was 24 Oct 1975. The 7 Dec 1975 LAHExam article quoted Eastwood as saying, “I hadn’t fired anyone before and I found it a very tough thing to do.”
       A 16 Jun 1976 Var story announced the film’s premiere at the opening night of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities Conference on Western Movies on 29 Jun 1975. The film opened to tepid critical reception. A 28 Jun 1976 DV review noted the film’s mortality rate of “approximately one corpse every 90 seconds over its interminable 135-minute length,” stating that the film “stretches to the breaking point the credulity of the PG rating.” The review acknowledged the film from a technical standpoint and anticipated typical Eastwood box office prospects. It continued to question the rating logic for the picture, proposing that “if each killing were instead to be a scene of sexual intercourse, it would be a “super-X in calibre.” The New York Times review also complained of the film’s length and its lack of dimensional characters.
       Navajo Indian Geraldine Keams made her professional acting debut in the film, according to a 28 Oct 1975 DV news item.



The summary and note for this entry were completed with participation from the AFI Academic Network. Summary and note were written by participant Jeremy Carr, Visiting Research Fellow with the Arizona State University Center for Film, Media and Popular Culture.
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
27 Oct 1975.
---
Daily Variety
11 Sep 1975.
---
Daily Variety
28 Oct 1975.
---
Daily Variety
28 Jun 1976
p. 3, 11.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jul 1975.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Nov 1975.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jun 1976
p. 3.
LAHExam
9 Jul 1975.
---
LAHExam
7 Dec 1975
p. 1, 4.
Los Angeles Times
14 Jun 1976
p. 9.
New York Times
5 Aug 1976
p. 26.
Variety
29 Oct 1975.
---
Variety
16 Jun 1976.
---
Variety
30 Jun 1976
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
Asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam op
Cam asst
Cam asst
Cam asst
Key grip
2d grip
Best boy
Grip
Stillman
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Const coord
Prop master
Set des
Propman
Propman
Leadman
Swing man
Drapery foreman
Drapery
Const foreman
Greensman/Foreman
Greensman/Foreman
Greensman/Foreman
Painter/Foreman
Painter
Plasterer
Plasterer
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Cost-Men
Cost-Women
MUSIC
Mus ed
SOUND
Re-rec mixer
Boom man
Cableman
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Titles & opt eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to the prod
Scr supv
Casting
Wrangler
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
First aid
Prod coord
Secy to prod
Auditor
Asst auditor
Projectionist
Craft service
American Human Association representative
Caterer
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Unit prod mgr
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
STAND INS
Stunt coord
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Gone to Texas by Forrest Carter (New York, 1973).
DETAILS
Release Date:
1976
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 14 July 1976
New York opening: 4 August 1976
Production Date:
began 6 October 1975
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers Entertainment, Inc.
Copyright Date:
30 June 1976
Copyright Number:
LP46543
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
DeLuxe®
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
135
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
24565
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Working his land, Josey Wales notices his house burning in the distance. He rushes back to witness the murder of his wife and son by a group of renegade Union soldiers known as “Red Legs.” Josey later joins the Confederate Army to seek revenge. As the Civil War wears on, the Confederates suffer defeat. Led by a soldier named Fletcher, the men in Josey’s troop turn themselves in to Union soldiers who promised amnesty and release. However, Josey does not surrender. At the Union soldiers’ camp, Senator Lane attempts to pay off Fletcher for bringing in his men, but Fletcher refuses the money, upset that Lane has not set them free as promised. Fletcher informs Lane that Josey remains at large, and Lane instructs Fletcher and Terrill, a Union soldier who resembles one of the Red Legs who attacked Josey’s family, to track him down. While a Union soldier leads the Confederates in a pledge of loyalty to the United States, other Union soldiers hidden in tents aim guns at the Confederates. Jamie, a young soldier in Fletcher’s troop, points to Josey in the distance as he rides towards the camp, and the Union soldiers open fire at their captives. Josey uses a Gatling gun he finds at the camp to shoot down numerous Union soldiers, then escapes with Jamie, who is now wounded. Lane sends Fletcher and Terrill after Josey. Later, Josey and Jamie cross a river aboard a ferry, along with a traveling elixir salesman. After they have crossed, Fletcher, Terrill, and their men arrive at the other side of the river. Instead of running, Josey watches his enemies board the ferry. Once they are midway across, ... +


Working his land, Josey Wales notices his house burning in the distance. He rushes back to witness the murder of his wife and son by a group of renegade Union soldiers known as “Red Legs.” Josey later joins the Confederate Army to seek revenge. As the Civil War wears on, the Confederates suffer defeat. Led by a soldier named Fletcher, the men in Josey’s troop turn themselves in to Union soldiers who promised amnesty and release. However, Josey does not surrender. At the Union soldiers’ camp, Senator Lane attempts to pay off Fletcher for bringing in his men, but Fletcher refuses the money, upset that Lane has not set them free as promised. Fletcher informs Lane that Josey remains at large, and Lane instructs Fletcher and Terrill, a Union soldier who resembles one of the Red Legs who attacked Josey’s family, to track him down. While a Union soldier leads the Confederates in a pledge of loyalty to the United States, other Union soldiers hidden in tents aim guns at the Confederates. Jamie, a young soldier in Fletcher’s troop, points to Josey in the distance as he rides towards the camp, and the Union soldiers open fire at their captives. Josey uses a Gatling gun he finds at the camp to shoot down numerous Union soldiers, then escapes with Jamie, who is now wounded. Lane sends Fletcher and Terrill after Josey. Later, Josey and Jamie cross a river aboard a ferry, along with a traveling elixir salesman. After they have crossed, Fletcher, Terrill, and their men arrive at the other side of the river. Instead of running, Josey watches his enemies board the ferry. Once they are midway across, Josey shoots the ropes guiding the ferry, which sends the men down river. Josey then tends to Jamie, whose wound is getting worse. Suddenly, two men emerge from the forest and hold Josey at gunpoint, aiming to turn him over to the Union for reward money. Jamie tricks the men, however, and he shoots one, allowing Josey to kill the other. Back on their horses, the two head toward the Indian Nations where they plan to take refuge. One evening, Jamie passes away, and Josey sends his body into a Union camp on horseback, thus distracting the soldiers so that Josey can ride by unnoticed. He later meets up with a Cherokee Indian named Lone Watie. Thanks to their shared distrust of the ruling white men, they strike up a friendship. Josey goes to a trading post in order to get Lone Watie a horse. There, he shoots two men sexually molesting an Indian woman who works at the post. Josey takes the men’s horses and the Indian woman, Little Moonlight, then rejoins Lone Watie. Josey and his new companions later arrive in a bustling Texas town. There, Josey encounters Grandma Sarah, a verbose older woman, and her granddaughter, Laura Lee. The elixir salesman, also in town, recognizes Josey and calls out his name, thus getting the attention of a group of Union soldiers. Josey and Lone Watie kill the soldiers and escape, leaving Little Moonlight behind, though she eventually catches up. Fletcher and Terrill continue their pursuit, throwing off a group of bounty hunters who also seek Josey. Riding along with Lone Watie and Little Moonlight, Josey spots a wagon train ransacked by a group of Comancheros. Among those captured by the men are Grandma Sarah and Laura. Watching from the hillside, Lone Watie falls down, and the Comancheros take him captive as well. Josey pretends to surrender to the Comancheros but opens fire instead, saving the two women and Lone Watie. Grandma Sarah tells of her now-deceased son’s ranch, and they all ride toward it. Along the way, they stop in Santo Rio, a town largely deserted except for a few remaining residents. There, Josey identifies himself to two bounty hunters who are searching for him. Josey kills one of the bounty hunters and escapes. Arriving at the ranch, Josey’s group cleans up and settles in. One day, after riding into town with two locals, Lone Watie returns injured, informing Josey and the others that the two men were captured by Ten Bears, a great Comanche war chief. Josey rides to the Indians in hope of rescuing the men and making peace. With his honesty and sincerity, he succeeds on both accounts. That evening, Josey and his companions celebrate with dancing and music. Laura offers Josey a watch chain she braided from her own hair. Meanwhile, in Santo Rio, Fletcher and his group learn of Josey’s whereabouts at the ranch. The next morning, Josey wakes up in bed with Laura. Despite their newfound connection, Josey decides that he must move along. Before he can leave, however, Terrill and Fletcher’s group arrives. Josey’s companions take up arms from inside the house, and a gunfight ensues. Terrill is injured and rides away. Josey, also shot, goes after him. They arrive in Santo Rio, and Josey remembers the massacre of his wife and son as he corners Terrill. Out of ammunition, Josey takes Terrill’s sword and uses it to kill him. Afterwards, Josey stops in at the bar, where the townsfolk hide Josey’s identity from the Texas Rangers who are there looking for him, instead telling the lawmen that Josey was killed. Josey recognizes Fletcher in the corner of the bar as well, but Fletcher goes along with the deceit. The Texas Rangers leave after one of the men signs an affidavit confirming that “Josey Wales” is dead. Fletcher addresses Josey as if he is a stranger, asserting that he plans to track Josey down in Mexico, in order to tell him that the war is over. Josey then rides away.
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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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