Skip to main content

The National Science and Media Museum is now open. Please book free museum admission or cinema tickets online in advance

First Cow (12A)

Two travellers dream of striking it rich, but their tenuous plan comes to rely on the secret use of a wealthy landowner’s prized dairy cow.

In the 1820s, a taciturn loner and skilled cook (John Magaro) travels west to Oregon Territory, where he meets a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee) also seeking his fortune. Soon the two team up on a dangerous scheme to steal milk from the wealthy landowner’s prized Jersey cow—the first and only in the territory.

From this simple premise, director Kelly Reichardt constructs an interrogation of foundational Americana that recalls her earlier triumph Old Joy and again shows her distinct talent for depicting the peculiar rhythms of daily living and ability to capture the immense, unsettling quietude of rural America.

  • DIRECTOR: Kelly Reichardt
  • CAST: Rene Auberjonois, John Magaro, John Keating, Dylan Smith, Orion Lee

Part of the Science Museum Group