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USA 1972
Directed by
Sam Peckinpah
103 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Junior Bonner

Peckinpah’s film is an affectionate look at the waning mystique of the frontier cowboy via the story of  middle-aged rodeo rider Junior Bonner (Steve McQueen) who returns to his Arizona hometown where he reunites with his family, which includes his charming, troublemaking father, Ace (Robert Preston), and his ambitious real estate-developer brother, Curly (Joe Don Baker). Ida Lupino plays Ace’s estranged wife.  While Ace dreams of making his fortune in Australia, Junior is determined to conquer a tough bull named Sunshine by riding it for eight seconds and so hit the bit time in the rodeo business

There’s not much to the plot of what is a suitably laconic easy-going film that does well enough in capturing  small town rural America.  The performances, with McQueen carrying off the lead, are fine and the semi-documentary treatment matches the toughened pathos of people committed to a way of life they know is dying.




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