Great American Cowboy, The (film) Documentary film directed and produced by Kieth Merrill in 1973 for which Disney later acquired distribution rights. Disney produced an educational film version in 1980 and released the entire film on video in 1986. The documentary details the yearlong quest of veteran rodeo cowboy Larry Mahan and his new superstar competitor, Phil Lyne, focusing on the explosive, sometimes bone-shattering action of the arena. Mahan and Lyne starred as themselves; the narrator was Joel McCrea. 89 min. Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Feature.