A key dramatic sequence in Cowboy (1958) involved Glenn Ford and Jack Lemmon stuck in one of the cars among the cattle and Glenn having to save Jack from being trampled and gored by the angry longhorns. Director Daves set up three cameras to shoot through the slats in the cattle car. Injections of sedatives were given to the cattle to keep them from becoming uncontrollable, with representatives from the Humane Society in place to make sure that nothing harmful happened to the beasts. Meanwhile, the two humans, Glenn and Jack, found themselves very much in harm’s way. Daves had decided that the scene could not be shot with stunt doubles, as he wanted the camera close to the action. Jack Lemmon was carefully positioned under a fallen cow that he was supposed to be trying to coax back upright. Glenn, meanwhile, was in place on top of the two-by-fours of the cattle car, waiting for his cue to jump in and help Jack, who had become trapped. Lemmon, scared to death as he recalled it, surrounded by restless cattle with giant horns and heavy hooves, took hold of the fallen steer’s horns so they wouldn’t stab him when the animal rose up. When the steer did not appear to be moving as expected, a prop man leaned through the wooden slats and zapped it with a cattle prod. Suddenly, Lemmon found himself literally airborne as the steer came to life as though shot out of a cannon. The other cattle stirred nervously, and suddenly those horns and hooves were in motion all around Jack. He described the scene:
Glenn screamed for them to get me out of there. He couldn’t come down to help me, as he would have had to jump right into the horns. It was very hairy — nobody knew what to do. And I remember looking up and seeing Del Daves with a look of panic on his face. And I’ll never forget, still thinking like a director, Del waved his arms at the cattle and yelled, “CUT!” Not at the cameras, but at the fucking steers! When he could find a clear space, Glenn jumped down to help me. And a moment later a steer kicked backwards, and the hooves shot right through the two-by-fours exactly where Glenn’s leg had been a moment before.