Will Penny

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"The brute in every man was also in him... And the love and the violence!"
  • Approved
  • 1967
  • 1 hr 48 min
  • 7.1  (5,144)

Will Penny is a classic western drama film from 1967 that tells the story of a cowboy, Will Penny, played by Charlton Heston, who is nearing the end of his career. He is a weather-beaten and tired old cowboy who has been in the saddle for too long, and he just wants to settle down and start a family. Unfortunately, when his cattle drive ends, he finds himself stranded in the middle of nowhere without food, water or a job.

Just when things couldn’t seem worse for Will, he stumbles upon Catherine Allen, played by Joan Hackett, and her son, Horace. Catherine is a widow who is traveling to Oregon to start a new life, and Will agrees to become their guide, leading them to an old mining town where they can catch a stagecoach the rest of the way. Along the way, Will and Catherine start to fall in love, but they are both hesitant to act on their feelings due to their own personal obstacles.

However, their journey takes a dark turn when they encounter Frank Renda, played by Donald Pleasence, and his gang of outlaw cowboys. Renda is a vicious and ruthless leader who has no qualms about killing anyone who gets in his way. When Will and Catherine try to avoid Renda’s gang, they are forced into a terrifying standoff. Will must use all of his cowboy skills to protect Catherine and her son from the gang, and they must use all of their wits to survive.

As the story moves forward, Will finds himself torn between his love for Catherine and his loyalty to his cowboy friends. He must face some difficult choices that will determine the direction of his life. The movie, Will Penny, is a powerful drama with a touch of romance and action, showing the harsh reality that people faced and their struggles with their emotions.

The film's pace is steady, and the narrative is well-constructed. Charlton Heston delivers an exceptional performance as Will Penny, portraying the complex emotions of a cowboy in his twilight years with great subtlety. His rugged looks and gruff voice add a layer of authenticity to the character. He shows us that even an old cowboy can have a heart and can experience love and tenderness.

Joan Hackett gives an equally convincing performance as Catherine Allen. She is the embodiment of the pioneer woman, strong-willed and determined, but with a soft and gentle heart. Hackett's chemistry with Heston is palpable, and they share some genuinely tender moments throughout the movie.

Donald Pleasence as Frank Renda gives a standout performance as the ruthless outlaw. He is menacing, cruel and totally believable as a gunslinger who terrorizes anyone who crosses his path. His presence gives the movie a sense of danger and unpredictability.

The film's cinematography is stunning, featuring breathtaking landscapes of the Western plains, juxtaposed with close-up shots of the characters' faces. It captures the beauty and brutality of the American West perfectly, evoking a sense of time and place with great skill.

Ultimately, Will Penny is an engrossing tale of love and survival set in the heart of the Wild West. It is a character-driven movie that explores the human condition in a genre that is often known for its violence and action. The film is a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit and to the power of love. It is a must-watch for fans of Western drama, as well as anyone who appreciates great storytelling and memorable characters.

Will Penny is a 1967 western with a runtime of 1 hour and 48 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1.

Will Penny
Where to Watch Will Penny
Will Penny is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Will Penny for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 48 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (5,144)