Sunday, Sep 2020
Director: Sam Peckinpah
Screenwriters: John Crawford & Edmund Penney
Length: 121 minutes
Released: 1970

The Ballad of Cable Hogue posterThe Ballad of Cable Hogue is an end of the old West, Western. Cable (Jason Roberts) is double-crossed and abandoned in the desert. Hallucinating and on the brink of death, Cable discovers a spring. Realizing the value of water along the stagecoach route, Cable builds a wayside business. The venture thrives until the arrival of the automobile. It then becomes painfully clear to Cable that cars, will be the end of him and his watering hole business.

The film showcases a raucous and comedic side of Sam Peckinpah. Its' tone is that of a Greek play, as tragedy and comedy tussle for the upper hand. Some of Peckinpah's devices are outright wacky, his use of fast forward and the Benny Hillian focus on cleavage for instance...

Roberts is terrific as the crumudgeonly Cable. And Stella Stevens is sweet and loving as Hildy, the former prostitute in the town of Dead Dog. Capturing every scene he appears in is David Warner, the lecherous Reverend Joshua Duncan Sloane. He explains his womanizing in the name of God; "I don't pleasure them, I baptize them". Rounding out the cast are veteran Western character actors; Slim Pickens, L.Q. Jones, R.G. Armstrong, and the incomparable Strother Martin.

Coming just one year after The Wild Bunch, The Ballad of Cable Hogue displays Peckinpah's versatility (and his affection for the Western). The Ballad of Cable Hogue is a bedrock Must See.

Cast:

  • Jason Robards.... Cable Hogue
  • Stella Stevens....Hildy
  • David Warner.... Rev. Joshua Duncan Sloane, Church of the Wayfaring Stranger
  • Strother Martin.... Samuel D. Bowen
  • Slim Pickens.... Ben Fairchild, Stage Driver
  • L.Q. Jones.... Taggart
  • Peter Whitney ... Cushing, Bank President
  • R.G. Armstrong.... Quittner, Manager Kimble & Humbolt Stage Line
  • Gene Evans .... Clete
  • William Mims.... Jensen
  • Kathleen Freeman.... Mrs. Jensen
  • Susan O'Connell.... Claudia
  • Vaughn Taylor....Powell, Land Office Clerk
  • Max Evans.... Webb Seely
  • James Anderson ... Preacher
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