Ride the High Country (1962)

Approved  |   |  Western  |  28 July 1962 (Japan)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 9,044 users  
Reviews: 118 user | 44 critic

An ex-union soldier is hired to transport gold from a mining community through dangerous territory. But what he doesn't realize is that his partner and old friend is plotting to double-cross him.



(as N. B. Stone Jr.)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Elsa Knudsen
Ron Starr ...
Heck Longtree
Joshua Knudsen
Jenie Jackson ...
Sylvus Hammond
John Davis Chandler ...
Jimmy Hammond


Aging ex-marshal Steve Judd is hired by a bank to transport a gold shipment through dangerous territory. He hires an old partner, Gil Westrum, and his young protege Heck to assist him. Steve doesn't know, however, that Gil and Heck plan to steal the gold, with or without Steve's help. On the trail, the three get involved in a young woman's desire to escape first from her father, then from her fiance and his dangerously psychotic brothers. Written by James Meek <james@oz.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Showdown in the High Sierras!




Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

28 July 1962 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

De red efter guld  »

Box Office


$813,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was shot on various locations in and around Los Angeles, including Malibu Canyon and the Twentieth Century Fox back lot. Smoke from fires raging in Topanga Canyon and Bel Air darkened much of the sky over the area, seriously complicating shooting. See more »


Joel McCrae, when a riding horse with heavy leather riding gloves on, opened a pocket knife. This is impossible unless it was handed to him partially opened. See more »


Steve Judd: I want to know if you red-necked peckerwoods are too chicken-gutted to finish this thing in the open.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Introducing Mariette Hartley See more »


Featured in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »


For She's a Jolly Good Fellow
Sung at the wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea are excellent in this!
1 April 2006 | by (spokane,usa) – See all my reviews

Director: Sam Peckinpah, Script: NB Stone Jr. Cast: Randolph Scott (Gill Westrum), Joel McCrea (Steve Judd), Mariette Hartley (Elsa Knudsen), Ron Starr(Heck Longtree)

Many of Sam Peckinpah's westerns involve aging outlaws, cowboys or lawmen living in the late period west trying to deal with the disappearing frontier. In this early Peckinpah movie, the aging lawmen are Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott. Randolph Scott plays the part of Steve Judd. Judd is hired to guard gold that is to be shipped from the nearby mine. He hires his old friend Gill Westrum and a young kid by the name of Heck(Ron Starr) to help him. Gill and Huck have other ideas. They want to steal the gold! Along the way, they meet a young women who Heck takes to right away. Trying to liberate herself from her strict and fundamentalist father, she gets involved with Bill Hammond. He is the leader of the Hammond brothers who work the mine. He is bad company. Gill, Steve and Huck save her from the abuse of Billy Hammond.

This film is part of the Sam Pechinpah collection box set that Warner released a few months back.(It can be purchased separately,but I highly recommend the box set.) People that are very familiar with western film in particular and the work of Peckinpah in general, probably already know how good this movie is. If you only know Peckinpah for The Wild Bunch, I highly recommend that you buy this DVD. This is a great film. One thing that sets it apart from many of his other films is the scenery. Most if his westerns are filmed in the southwestern U.S. or Mexico with wide open and barren desert landscapes. This movie was filmed in California's Sierra Nevadas at Inyo National Forest. Consequently, the scenery is beautiful.

Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea are legendary actors. This film is considered by many to be among their finest. I was very impressed by their performances. Gill turns against Steve when he tries to steal the gold but by films end they join forces along with Heck to do battle against the Hammond boys. This movie features a very early performance from Mariette Hartley. Although much younger, many will recognize her from the Polaroid and Celistial Seasonings Tea commercials. Peckinpah regulars LQ Jones and Warren Oats are also in this as two of the Hammond Brothers. This movie does have some violence but nothing compared to The wild Bunch. I believe this is Peckinpah's second feature film. It was released in 1962. You can see how his films changed with the times when one compares this with his works from the late sixties and seventies. This is one of my favourite Peckinpah films. Highly recommended!

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