Lonesome Cowboys

Lonesome Cowboys is a 1968 film by American filmmaker Andy Warhol, and was shown, for initial viewings, at the New Andy Warhol Garrick Theatre, at 152 Bleecker Street, Manhattan, New York City.[1] Written by Paul Morrissey, the film is a satire of Hollywood westerns. The film won the Best Film Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

Lonesome Cowboys
original film poster
Directed byAndy Warhol
Produced byPaul Morrissey
Written byPaul Morrissey
StarringJoe Dallesandro
Eric Emerson
Taylor Mead
Julian Burroughs
CinematographyPaul Morrissey
Edited byPaul Morrissey
Distributed bySherpix
Release date
  • November 1968 (1968-11) (SFIFF)
  • May 5, 1969 (1969-05-05) (New York City)
Running time
109 minutes
CountryUnited States


Lonesome Cowboys was shot in January 1968 in Old Tucson and Rancho Linda Vista Dude Ranch in Oracle, Arizona, on a budget of $3,000.[2] The film features Warhol superstars Viva, Taylor Mead, Louis Waldon, Eric Emerson, and Joe Dallesandro. The plot is loosely based on Romeo and Juliet, hence the names Julian and Ramona of the two leads. While in Arizona on a college lecture tour in November 1967, Warhol booked film screenings of excerpts from Chelsea Girls followed by a question and answer session with the artist, Morrissey, Viva, and Alan Midgette at Arizona State University and the Cinema I Film Society at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Warhol and Viva apparently both enjoyed their time in Arizona so much that they made plans to find a way to return, which culminated in Paul Morrissey writing the screenplay for Lonesome Cowboys to be shot there two months later.[3] A detailed first-hand account of Warhol's time in Tucson by Cinema I director Shirley Pasternack was published in the May 1989 issue of the Tucson City Magazine.

Warhol initially planned to title the film Fuck, then The Glory of the Fuck.[4] Warhol and Morrissey settled on Lonesome Cowboys while Warhol was convalescing following the attempt on his life by Valerie Solanas. John Schlesinger was filming Midnight Cowboy, which featured several members of Warhol's entourage, including Viva and Ultra Violet who, with Morrissey, shot a separate short film during shooting of Midnight Cowboy's elaborate party scene.[5] Warhol initially endorsed the participation of his people but grew resentful at what he perceived as Schlesinger's poaching of Warhol's scene. Warhol decided to undercut Schlesinger by naming this film Lonesome Cowboys as a reference to Midnight Cowboy.[6]



In August 1969, the film was seized by police in Atlanta, Georgia, and the theater personnel arrested.[7]


A 2010 remake by Marianne Dissard titled Lonesome Cowgirls, was shot in Tucson, Arizona.

See also


  1. Garcia, Alfredo (11 October 2017). "Andy Warhol Films: Newspaper Adverts 1964-1974 A comprehensive collection of Newspaper Ads and Film Related Articles". WordPress.com. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  2. Hofler, p. 77
  3. Pasternack, p. 40
  4. Hofler, p. 3
  5. Hofler, p. 63
  6. Hofler, pp. 74–75
  7. WarholStars entry

Further reading

  • Hofler, Robert (2014). Sexplosion: From Andy Warhol to A Clockwork Orange - How a Generation of Pop Rebels Broke All the Taboos. New York: itbooks, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 978-0-06-208834-5.
  • Pasternack, Shirley (May 1989). Andy Warhol in Tucson. Tucson, AZ: City Magazine. {pages 38–42}.
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