6.3/10
2,717
35 user 28 critic

Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969)

In 1909, when young Paiute Indian Willie Boy returns to his California reservation to be with Lola, whose father disapproves of him, a killing in self defense takes place, triggering a massive man hunt for Willie.

Director:

Abraham Polonsky

Writers:

Harry Lawton (book), Abraham Polonsky
Reviews
Won 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... Cooper
Katharine Ross ... Lola
Robert Blake ... Willie
Susan Clark ... Liz
Barry Sullivan ... Calvert
John Vernon ... Hacker
Charles Aidman ... Benby
Charles McGraw ... Wilson
Shelly Novack ... Finney
Robert Lipton ... Newcombe
Lloyd Gough ... Dexter
Ned Romero ... Tom
John Wheeler ... Newman
Erik Holland Erik Holland ... Digger (as Eric Holland)
Garry Walberg ... Dr. Mills
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Storyline

Based on true events, Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, tells the story of one of the last Western manhunts, in 1909. Willie Boy, a Native American, kills his girlfriend's father in self defense, and the two go on the run, pursued by a search posse led by Sheriff Christopher Cooper. Written by Jon Hertzberg <jahertzb@students.wisc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Willie Boy incident was the most savage chapter in frontier history ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Abraham Polonsky said to a USC film class at the time that he purposely shot and edited the manhunt sequences with characters moving in all directions across the screen, rather than in the usual way wherein both runners and pursuers would move in the same direction across the shots (i.e., left to right) to enhance the impression of urgent suspense in a chase. Instead, Polonsky was looking for a different feel for the audience, of the characters wandering, feeling their way through the landscape. He implied he was willing to sacrifice some suspense to externalize the characters' confusion. He also said that for Katharine Ross' brief, artfully lit nude shot, he exposed the film correctly but then produced a high-contrast copy of the same film frames with deep blacks and transparent lights, then bi-packed both pieces of films together to rephotograph. The high-contrast overlay ensured that the shadows on Ross' body were black--so that the image could not reveal more in the shadows than it was supposed to. See more »

Goofs

Many of the hats worn in the film are not the style worn during the early part of the 20th century. Some in fact, could only have been sewn using machines created in the 1950s, nearly half a century after the films setting. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tom: Did you see that crazy Calvert go by?
Willie Boy: Ate his dust.
Tom: When did you get back to Banning, Willie Boy?
Willie Boy: Five o'clock freight.
Tom: Goin' to the fiesta?
Willie Boy: Is that where you're goin', Tom?
Tom: Trailin' Mr. Calvert with a tow just in case he breaks down - or breaks his neck.
Willie Boy: Well, I guess that's where I'm goin'.
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Connections

Featured in Red Hollywood (1996) See more »

User Reviews

 
Hollywood version of Indian manhunt
17 July 2006 | by gclal93See all my reviews

Beautifully filmed, the movie creates the same edge-of-your-seat tension to see the outcome as the book by Harry Lawton, and, indeed, the real events must have engendered.

Too bad Hollywood once again played with the truth. While much of the film appears to fairly closely follow history, with a few excusable abbreviations, two crucial incidents and Redford's character are Hollywood inventions. They add to the drama and mystery of the sad story, but considering most people know only the history they see on film, it's a shame to see the truth corrupted.

Blake is outstanding. Redford is uncomfortable trying on the cowboy persona at that early stage. Ross is completely unbelievable as an Indian.

The movie captures the essence of this turn-of-the-last-century western environment transitioning from horse & buggy to automobile, from cowboy to urbanite, from the remaining blend of Indian autonomy side-by-side with encroaching white man encroachment and ultimate domination.

The fact that it took several posses of 75+ men on horse, with supplies, days and nights of tracking to catch up with one Indian on foot without more than a rifle, a few shells and only what food he could scrounge, speaks volumes for the Indian-vs-white fight for survival and the tactics used.

Quietly intense, the movie is dramatic, captivating, and over-ridingly sad at the unavoidable outcome of the decidedly unbalanced "battle."


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1969 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Willie Boy See more »

Filming Locations:

Pioneertown, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,949
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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