The Over-the-Hill Gang

This article is about the film. For the football team, see The Over-the-Hill Gang (American football).
The Over-the-Hill Gang

DVD cover
Written by Jameson Brewer
Leonard Goldberg
Directed by Jean Yarbrough
Starring Walter Brennan
Pat O'Brien
Chill Wills
Edgar Buchanan
Gypsy Rose Lee
Andy Devine
Jack Elam
Music by Hugo Friedhofer
Country of origin US
Original language(s) English
Cinematography Henry Cronjager Jr.
Editor(s) Joseph Gluck
Running time 75 min.
Production company(s) Thomas-Spelling Productions
Distributor ABC
Original release October 7, 1969
Followed by The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again
Once Upon a Texas Train

The Over-the-Hill Gang is a 1969 TV-movie Western comedy about aging Texas Rangers starring Walter Brennan and Pat O'Brien. Chill Wills, Edgar Buchanan, Andy Devine, and Jack Elam play supporting roles. The film was written by Richard Carr and directed by Jean Yarbrough.

The plot concerns a young newspaper editor who is conducting a campaign to unseat the town's "tinhorn mayor." The mayor is backed by a "gun-happy sheriff" and a "whiskey-soaked judge." The editor's campaign receives a boost when he is joined by a former Texas Ranger and "three of the fightin'-est straight shooters around."[1]

The movie premiered on October 7, 1969, as the ABC Movie of the Week.[1]

A sequel called The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again was produced the following year, with Brennan, Wills, Buchanan, Devine, and Burt Mustin reprising their roles while Fred Astaire replaced O'Brien as the second lead. Both movies doubled as a pilot for a projected weekly series, but ABC ultimately passed on the idea.

In 1971, George Allen became the head coach of the Washington Redskins and he began to acquire many veteran players to bolster the Redskins depleted roster. In reference to this movie, the Redskins were nicknamed, "The Over-the-Hill Gang."



The main characters appeared nearly 20 years later in 1988 thanks to writer/director Burt Kennedy as secondary players to an outlaw portrayed by Willie Nelson, with legendary Western stars portraying them. Richard Widmark co-stars as Captain Oren Hayes, Chuck Connors as Nash Crawford, Jack Elam as Jason Fitch and Stuart Whitman as Gentleman George Asque. Elam had the distinction of being one of the bad guys in the original to becoming one of the good guys in the semi-remake, which centers around the former Texas Rangers trying to capture an "over-the-hill" outlaw gang led by Nelson in Once Upon a Texas Train.


  1. 1 2 TV Guide, October 4–10, 1969, p A-58
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