Texas cowpoke Lincoln Costain (James Garner) washes ashore on the Hawaiian island of Kauai and helps the widowed owner of a potato plantation (Vera Miles) turn her ailing farm into a thriving cattle ranch, despite the mach... more »inations of a sneaky local merchant (Robert Culp). The Castaway Cowboy has all the qualities of Disney's other live-action movies from the 1970s: a clear, straightforward story; serviceable, unfussy acting; a dose of ethnic stereotypes (in this case, the simple, happy-go-lucky islanders); a mixture of sentiment, slapstick, and modest adventure; and a cute, spunky kid, for whom the hero becomes a substitute parent. Garner's easy charm makes the proceedings pleasant enough, though the cultural chauvinism doesn't date well. --Bret Fetzer« less
james d. leverton | San Marcos, Ca United States | 05/19/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In the early '70's, James Garner made two films for Disney studios, "One Little Indian" and "The Castaway Cowboy." Of the two, "Cowboy" is by far the best: a slight but entertaining little comedy-western co-starring the lovely Vera Miles (who was also in "Indian"). She plays Henrietta McAlvoy, the owner of a failing Hawaiian (known here as the Sandwich Islands) potato plantation whose native workers fish a nearly drowned deserter named Costain (Garner) out of the ocean. While Costain waits for a ship home to Texas, he hatches a plot to save the farm by turning it into a cattle ranch, using the Hawaiian workers as ranch hands. Of course, in Disney films of the era, there is always a villain, and "Cowboy" features Robert Culp as Bryson, a local businessman who romances Henrietta in order to get her land and when she won't sell, stoops to some nasty business to sabotage Garner's plan.Everything is predictable and ends just like you think it might. Also quite predictably, Henrietta is a widow with an irrepressibly cute (i.e. cloying and obnoxious) preteen son played by "The Poseidon Adventure"'s young Eric Shea, who gives an even more annoying, don't-say-your-line-shout-it performance than he gave in the previous film. The only other performances of note are given by native Hawaiians playing the workers as stereotypes who exist merely as goofballs to be laughed at. (More about that later.) Only Elizabeth Smith as Henrietta's housekeeper escapes with her dignity intact, since she manages to make her character more than a one-note stereotype.Finally, about Anchor Bay's DVD presentation. Even though the copy I received was in fullscreen format (instead of the advertised widescreen--grumble, grumble) I kept it because of the excellent remastered print and the addition of a cool copy of the original poster art from the 1974 release on the back of the scene breakdown card. I still would prefer widescreen, but at least the picture and sound are much better than the awful transfers Disney have been ripping us off with on its own lazy releases. Now, a word of warning about the presentation of the native Hawaiian characters: if you are sensitive about racial issues and potential racism in the movies, you may want to steer clear of this film. The Hawaiian workers are stereotyped as lazy and undisciplined men-children who would rather swim and play than work. This fact may make the film as offensive to some as "Song of the South" is to African-Americans. However, the natives do become better, more competent workers by the end of the film, so proceed at your own risk!"
Castaway Cowby--a great movie!
drdrillandfill | Oakdale, CA United States | 02/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I really liked this movie!! The scenery was beautiful (of course, it's Kauai and that can't be helped!) and the story line was interesting with all the obstacles James Garner had to contend with to help this family establish a cattle ranch. It also had a great ending and the good people won! My kids even enjoyed it (ages 4,5, and 8), so I must recommend it."
Best of the 2
JediMack | VALRICO, FL USA | 07/27/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Garner made 2 movie for disney. if your on the look out for good family movie that are fun, no cursing or nudity, a little action and a little romance... you want Castaway Cowboy, CC not One Little Indian, OLI. CC is a nice movie about a cowboy that ends up stuck on an island. He shows the nice widow woman how to start a cattle ranch instead of tring to far or fish.OLI is very boring. Not one of my three kids stayed for the end. And isn't that the true test of a movie. It isn't totally what mom or I like, it is also what they will like enough to sit and watch and enjoy."
The Great James Garner
Lois A. Anderson | Missouri | 01/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie might be called a Western, but it is one of the best comedy movies I have seen in recent years. I am a big James Garner Fan, so of course I like almost everything he is in. This movie was the best!!! I saw this movie several years ago and have searched for it for sometime before I finally found it on Amazon. Now I go to Amazon for any movie I am looking for first!!! Way to go Amazon. There are not enough stars in the rate this item for this movie. Great movie for parents and kids to watch together, but then most of the shows we watch, are suitable for parents to watch with their kids. I can't stand the new shows with all the Sci fi and the horror shows. Disgusting. What is out younger generation coming to. Thanks again Amazon, for having this title available. You are Number 1 with us.
A Tad Long for my taste!
cardsprite | Springfield, IL USA | 10/28/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was ok, but I found myself looking through magazines and such as it had many slow parts in it making it seem so much longer. It is hilarious in spots where Garner is attemting to teach the islanders how to ride a horse and rope cattle. I would rent first, it is fine for kids of all ages, hey, it's Disney!"