The Castaway Cowboy

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

The Castaway Cowboy (1974 Movie)

“The Castaway Cowboy” is a family comedy film released by Walt Disney Productions in 1974. The film is directed by Vincent McEveety and based on the novel “O’Hara’s Choice” by Leon Uris.

The story follows Lincoln Costain (played by James Garner), an American cowboy who finds himself shipwrecked on the shores of Hawaii in the late 1800s. Stranded and far from home, Lincoln is determined to make the best of his situation and starts to adapt to the Hawaiian way of life.

He befriends a local widow named Henrietta MacAvoy (played by Vera Miles) and her two young children, Willa and Calvin. As Lincoln becomes involved in their lives, he discovers that Henrietta is struggling to keep her ranch and coffee plantation afloat. With his cowboy skills, he offers to help her manage the land and turn the failing plantation into a thriving one.

However, their efforts face opposition from the greedy businessman Charles Anderson (played by Robert Culp), who is determined to take over Henrietta’s property and has plans to build a railroad through the land. Lincoln and Henrietta must work together to protect their newfound home and resist Charles’ schemes.

Throughout the film, Lincoln’s cowboy charm and resourcefulness endear him to the people of the island, especially the children, who come to see him as a father figure. As he becomes more integrated into the Hawaiian community, Lincoln’s cowboy ways clash with the traditional island culture, leading to comedic and heartwarming moments.

“The Castaway Cowboy” blends elements of adventure, comedy, and family drama, making it a delightful and enjoyable film for audiences of all ages. James Garner’s charismatic performance as the resourceful cowboy and the beautiful backdrop of Hawaii add to the film’s charm.

While not a major blockbuster, “The Castaway Cowboy” received positive reviews and has remained a beloved Disney classic. Its themes of friendship, resilience, and the power of community resonate with viewers, making it a heartwarming and entertaining family film.

Fun Facts

  • “The Castaway Cowboy” is known for its beautiful Hawaiian scenery and the cultural clashes between the cowboy way of life and Hawaiian traditions. It offers a lighthearted and family-friendly take on the fish-out-of-water premise.

Additional Details


  • James Garner: Lincoln Costain
  • Vera Miles: Henrietta MacAvoy
  • Eric Shea: Booton ‘Little Maca’ MacAvoy
  • Robert Culp: Calvin Bryson
  • Elizabeth Smith: Liliha
  • Manu Tupou: Kimo
  • Gregory Sierra: Marruja
  • Shug Fisher: Capt. Cary
  • Nephi Hannemann: Malakoma
  • Lito Capiña: Leleo
  • Ralph Hanalei: Hopu
  • Kim Kahana: Oka
  • Lee Woodd: Palani
  • Luis Delgado: The Hatman
  • Buddy Joe Hooker: Boatman
  • Patrick Sullivan Burke: Sea captain
  • Jerry Velasco: Hawaiian cowboy


  • Director: Vincent McEveety
  • Producer: Ron Miller and Winston Hibler
  • Music: Robert F. Brunner

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.