Oregon Movies, A to Z

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The Great American Cowboy (1973)

February 28th, 2009 by Anne Richardson · No Comments · 1970's, Oregon film, Oregon film new definition, Oregonians as inspiration

Rodeos and the people who work in them are the focus of this documentary. It demonstrates the resonance between the modern rodeo and the lifestyle of pioneer settlers of the American West. The 1973 film’s main focus is on veteran Larry Mahan and a newcomer, Phil Lyne, as they prepare for, and compete in their events. Joel McCrea narrates this film, which celebrates this form of Americana with great affection. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide

This portrait of Oregon rodeo champion Larry Mahan won first time director Kieth (yes, that’s spelled correctly) Merrill the Best Documentary Feature Oscar at the 1974 Academy Awards.

Here’s what Mahan can do that you can’t:

I hereby claim The Greatest American Cowboy as an Oregon film, because it was inspired by the life of a real live Oregonian.

This lost film is currently available streaming on Netflix, but is not on DVD.

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