The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

PG   |    |  Western

The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) Poster

Missouri farmer Josey Wales joins a Confederate guerrilla unit and winds up on the run from the Union soldiers who murdered his family.




  • Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke in The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
  • Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
  • Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke in The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
  • Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
  • Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
  • Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

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1 March 2005 | bsmith5552
| "Are You Gonna Pull Those Pistols or Whistle Dixie?"
"The Outlaw Josie Wales" was made by Clint Eastwood at a time when westerns were out of favor and the public wanted more of Clint as Dirty Harry. This film as it turned out, was one of Clint's best and certainly ranks up there with the more popular "Unforgiven" (1992).

Josie Wales (Eastwood) is a dirt farmer in Missouri during the American Civil War. One day a group of yankee raiders led by Captain "Red Legs" Terrill (Bill McKinny) attacks and burns his farm and murders his wife and young son while leaving Josie for dead. As Josie ponders what to do next a group of southern raiders led by "Bloody Bill" Anderson (John Russell) takes him into his gang to seek his revenge.

After the South surrenders, a fellow southerner, Fletcher (John Vernon) offers the remaining members of Anderson's gang amnesty if they will swear allegiance to the North. All but Wales agree. Unbeknownst to Fletcher, the men are suddenly murdered by the Union soldiers led by Terrill and in spite of Josie's efforts, only he and a young soldier names Jamie (Sam Bottoms) escape. Terrill and Fletcher are sent to hunt down the fugitives.

Jamie soon dies from his wounds and Josie is left alone. He makes for Mexico but is joined first by Lone Watie (Chief Dan George), then Little Moonlight (Geraldine Kearns) whom Josie rescues from a trading post and finally Laura Lee (Sondra Locke) and Grandma Sarah (Paula Trueman) who he rescues from a gang of Commancheros.

The group makes for Texas where Grandma Sarah's son has left her a ranch. All the time Josie is being pursued by Terrill and assorted bounty hunters. Josie dispatches several of them with his brace of Colt 45 horse pistols.

Finally at the ranch, the group sets up a home and Josie begins to fall for Laura Lee. Fearing an Indian attack, Josie rides to meet with Chief Ten Bears (Will Sampson) and makes peace with him. But finally Terrill and his group of "Red Legs" tracks Josie down and..........

Eastwood who also directed the movie, plays Wales with his usual grim faced persons. He's not afraid to pull his pistols and dispose of anyone who stands in his way. Interestingly enough, Eastwood cast all of the principal Native roles with native actors and treated them as equals and not in the old Hollywood tradition.

An excellent western in every way.

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Did You Know?


In her 1997 memoir "The Good, the Bad and the Very Ugly: A Hollywood Journey," Sondra Locke writes intimately about how Clint Eastwood capped off their first date, October 7, 1975, Wahweap Lodge and Marina, Page, Arizona: "Once at my door all that was necessary was another look at each other. There was no conversation, no maneuvering, it was all as natural as if it were happening for the thousandth time, but as exciting as any first time could be. He pulled me into his arms and kissed me gently, delicately. Then lifting me up, like some knight bearing his maiden, he carried me across the room to the bed. Physically I thought he was the most gorgeous man I had ever seen - his heroic face, his tall, lithe, muscular body. And in spite of his size and power, he was a gentle, affectionate, thoughtful, and yet intensely ardent lover. I thought of nothing except the moment. There was nothing in his past I wanted to know about, and nothing I wanted to tell, and certainly nothing I wanted to address about any future reality. We made love that night, not once, but several times. It was truly magic. Together, it seemed that, though we were two bodies, two hearts . . . in perfect accord we were one."


Josey's wife: Little Josey! C'mon in, let's get you cleaned up!


When Josey is chasing Redlegs from the final battle the camera is filming from overhead and the two pass two Hereford (or white faced cattle). They must have belonged to a modern local rancher since earlier in the film the settlers brought only longhorn cattle (about half a dozen head) with them.

Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema version was cut by 16 secs by the BBFC to edit the attempted rape of Laura Lee in order for the film to receive a 'AA' (14 and over) certificate. All later releases were upgraded to an '18' certificate and fully uncut.


(I Wish I Was In) Dixie's Land
Written by
Daniel Decatur Emmett
Performed by William O'Connell


Release Date:

30 June 1976


English, Navajo, Spanish

Country of Origin


Filming Locations

Kayenta, Arizona, USA

Box Office


$3,700,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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