Will Penny (1968) - Rotten Tomatoes

Will Penny (1968)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Will Penny Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

In this western, Will Penny is an aging and impoverished cowboy who stops over at the temporary frontier home of Catherine. She herself is en route to join her husband. Despite her wedding vows and the presence of her young son, Catherine finds herself drawn to Penny.more
Rating: Unrated (violence)
Genre: Western, Action & Adventure, Romance, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Tom Gries
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 4, 2002
Paramount Pictures


Charlton Heston
as Will Penny
Joan Hackett
as Catherine Allen
Donald Pleasence
as Preacher Quint
Bruce Dern
as Rafe Quint
Slim Pickens
as Ike Wallerstein
Jon Gries
as Horace Allen
Roy Jenson
as Boetius Sullivan
G.D. Spradlin
as Anse Howard
Lydia Clarke
as Mrs. Fraker
Robert Luster
as Shem Bodine
Matt Clark
as Romulus
Gene Rutherford
as Rufus Quint
Jon Francis
as Horace Greeley Allen
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Will Penny

Critic Reviews for Will Penny

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (5)

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Cowboy character study mixes violence and depth; some peril.

Full Review… | September 30, 2014
Common Sense Media

Audience Reviews for Will Penny

WILL PENNY-Released by Paramount Pictures. Running Time: 112 minutes.
MPAA Rating: "M"-Mature Audiences-Parental Guidance Suggested.(For
scenes of Western Violence and Strong Language). Released: 1968.

-One of the best adult Westerns made to date and one of the more mature Westerns to come out of the 1960's,comes writer-director Tom Gries(who was most known for his television work for TV shows like The Rat Patrol)casts Charlton Heston(in one of the greatest roles in his career,and also he quoted as one of his favorite films)in the title role of a cowboy who patrols for trespassers and rustlers on a huge ranch,who protects two uninvited visitors,a mother and her son from vicious outlaws in 1880's Montana. Gries' son Jon Gries,aka Jon Francis plays the boy while actress Joan Hackett portrays his mother who protects her son from the vicious outlaws(Donald Pleasence,
Bruce Dern and Lee Majors). The film was very good in bring a more darker side of ranch life in the Old West. Excellent character study in one of Charlton Heston's best roles.

Mister Caple

Super Reviewer

Introducing.... Lee Majors & Anthony Zerbe. With Slim Pickens, Bruce Dern, Ben Johnson, & a wild-eyed backwoods pappy in Donny Pleasance! Both Joan Hackett & Heston give solid character driven performances. Good script, editing, and direction - average cinematography & sound.

This is a rough gemstone that deserves to be polished up occasionally. Watch also for the young boy Horace, who grew up to be computer-savvy Broots in the popular TV show The Pretender.


You stupid jug-head bastard!

Will Penny is an aging cowboy who believes he took a fairly easy and straightforward job where he spends his days riding his horse along a ranch's line and ensure no invaders or squatters are in the area. He is assigned to sleep in a cabin in the hills. His first trip to the cabin he finds a deserted lady and her son squatting in the cabin. They make a reluctant agreement to stay in the cabin together through the winter and part ways in the spring. After spending some time together, they may change their spring plans.

"You weren't about to do something; were you, because I'd sure like to clean your plow for you."

Tom Gries, director of Breakheart Pass, Girl in the Woods, Serpent Island, 100 Rifles, Lady Ice, Number One, The Greatest, The Connection, and Helter Skelter, delivers Will Penny. The storyline for this picture is fairly common for the genre and straightforward. The settings were cool, the dialogue was solid, and the characters were fascinating. The acting was excellent and the cast includes Charlton Heston, Lee Majors, Joan Hackett, Donald Pleasance, Bruce Dern, and Slim Pickens.

"Sharing a blanket don't make us married!"

Will Penny is a movie I grabbed while in the mood for a western. I loved seeing Heston in this setting and genre and his interactions were as noble as you'd expect. There weren't too many memorable scenes but there were some great interaction and dialogue. This is worth watching once but may not be worth adding to your western collection.

"It's just a case of too soon old and too late smart."

Grade: B-

Kevin Robbins

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