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The Newton Boys

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Richard Linklater
Produced by Keith Fletcher
John Sloss
Clark Lee Walker
Claude Stanush
Written by Claude Stanush (book)
Clark Lee Walker
Richard Linklater
Starring Matthew McConaughey
Skeet Ulrich
Ethan Hawke
Vincent D'Onofrio
Dwight Yoakam
Music by Edward D. Barnes
Cinematography Peter James
Editing by Sandra Adair
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) March 27, 1998
Running time 113 min.
Country  United States
Language English
Budget $27,000,000
Gross revenue $10,452,012

The Newton Boys is a 1998 drama film based on the true story of the Newton Gang, a family of bank robbers from Uvalde, Texas. The film stars Matthew McConaughey, Skeet Ulrich, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Dwight Yoakam. It was filmed in Austin, Bartlett, and San Antonio, Texas.



"Over the course of five years (1919-1924) the Newton Boys, a group of brothers, were the most successful bank and train robbers in North America, traveling from Texas to Toronto without ever firing a fatal gunshot. Willis Newton (Matthew McConaughey) is the eldest brother who is determined to improve the fortunes of the family by becoming a 'businessman' whose business is bank robbing. With the rationale that all banks are insured — insurance companies being the biggest crooks — the brothers begin their spree. [In] 1924 they executed the biggest mail train robbery in American history, stealing $3 million from a train in Rondout, Illinois (a Chicago suburb). All goes smoothly until Brentwood Glasscock (Dwight Yoakam) accidentally shoots Dock Newton (Vincent D'Onofrio). Going against the odds, they decide to take Dock to a doctor. The court trial that follows sees the boys and their partners sentenced to prison."[1]

In the film, the Texas Ranger who arrests Jess Newton is Frank Hamer. In reality, the arresting officer was Frank Hamer's brother Harrison, also a Texas Ranger.[2]



It received mixed to positive reviews from critics, The film holds a 59% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 34 reviews.


  • While on location for this project, Dwight Yoakam wrote the songs he used for the album "The Long Way Home."
  • All three writers, the director, producer and two highest paid leads (Matthew McConaughey and Ethan Hawke) along with most of the production crew are native Texans, making this the most expensive production about Texas by Texans until arguably 2004's The Alamo.
  • Opening credits play the way they would in a film made during the silent and early sound period (1920-1940).
  • As the credits roll, portions of two interviews are shown, each with one brother. One is from a 1980 episode of "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson."


  1. ^ The Newton Boys (1998). Baseline
  2. ^ Hamer, Bud, Bobbie and Harrison (interviewed by Robert Nieman) (2006). Oral History Interview with Texas Ranger Descendants. Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum

External links



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