The Last Cowboy

The Last Cowboy
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The Last Cowboy
Price: $19.95

Filmed over 24 years in Porcupine, South Dakota, The Last Cowboy follows Vern Sager, a real American cowboy, the kind that inspired songs and campfire legends. Vern faces an army of adversaries: cattle rustlers, international agribusiness, old age, the weather, and the wanderlust of his own family.

The Sagers own a ranch on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the middle of the poorest county in America. The unemployment rate is 80%. In recent years, the "big city" of Gordon, Nebraska (population 2,175) has lured most of Porcupine’s youth away from ranch-life with the promise of jobs, minimarts, and paved streets. Twenty years ago, 90% of the Sager clan earned their living off the land - only 5% farm or ranch today.

The Last Cowboy documents the Sager family’s battle to maintain their dawn to dark, "Git Along Little Dogies" cowboy way of life. Capturing the inner landscape of the last cowboy’s character, courage, strength and stubborness and the outer landscape of his South Dakota home, The Last Cowboy is a testament to the debt Americans owe to the land they live in and those who still steward it.

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Jon Alpert
John Custodio


Western Heritage Award
Cine Golden Eagle Award
Hugo Award


"The vestiges of the wild West are on view in Mr. Alpert's lonesome, fascinating chronicle, 'The Last Cowboy,' which stares hard at the gory facts of making a living on the range."
— The New York Times