On August 2, 1972, a movie starring Steve “the King of Cool” McQueen entitled Junior Bonner premiered. Directed by Academy Award nominee Sam Peckinpah, the film was about a veteran rodeo cowboy who stayed too long in the saddle, but still clung to the determination to succeed in the sport. The screenplay was written by accomplished wordsmith Jeb Rosebrook who recounts his experience working on the picture in his new book Junior Bonner: The Making of a Classic with Steve McQueen and Sam Peckinpah in the Summer of 1971.
Rosebrook’s memoir is more than just a look into the difficult world of screenwriting and watching one’s work being made into a motion picture, it’s about being persistent and holding onto a dream despite the odds. In many respects, the ambition and drive Rosebrook possess in his book mirrors the ambition Junior Bonner has in his script. Both hope for glory in one incredible and profound ride.
Junior Bonner: The Making of a Classic with Steve McQueen and Sam Peckinpah in the Summer of 1971 and the film Junior Bonner are both a piece of genuine American Gothic, with original, gritty characters.
Buy it here.
Reviewed by Chris Enss, COWGIRL Book Editor, and a New York Times best-selling author who writes about women of the Old West.