The Outlaw Josey Wales

1976 film by Clint Eastwood

The Outlaw Josey Wales is a 1976 American western movie directed by Clint Eastwood (who also stars).[1] It was based on the 1972 novel The Rebel Outlaw: Josey Wales by Forrest Carter. The movie also stars Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke, Bill McKinney, John Vernon, Paula Trueman, Sam Bottoms, Charles Tyner, Doug McGrath, Geraldine Keams and was distributed by Warner Bros. It was nominated for an Academy Award in 1977 and was followed up by The Return of Josey Wales in 1986.

The movie was a commercial success, earning $31.8 million against a $3.7 million budget. In 1996, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". It is sometimes said to be a "revisionist western" because it breaks the "long taboo" about the treatment of Missourians by Unionists. This is disputed.

One of the things which made the film "culturally significant" was its use of character actors who could speak in dialects which are now dead or rare. This happened in countries as television spread the standardised type of pronunciation which the media elite use. Dialects can still be detected in regional speech in the U.S.A., but they are not nearly so prominent as they were.[2]


  1. McGilligan, Patrick 1999. Clint: the life and legend. London: Harper Collins. ISBN 0-00-638354-8
  2. Long discussion of "Dialect in America" in McArthur, Tom 1992. The Oxford Companion to the English Language. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-214183-X

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