7.6/10
9,519
124 user 47 critic

Ride the High Country (1962)

Approved | | Western | 14 July 1962 (Japan)
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.

Director:

Writer:

(as N. B. Stone Jr.)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A hobo accidentally stumbles onto a water spring, and creates a profitable way station in the middle of the desert.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: Jason Robards, Stella Stevens, David Warner
Major Dundee (1965)
Adventure | War | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the US, a Union officer decides to illegally cross the border and destroy the Apache, using a mixed army of Union troops, Confederate POWs, civilian mercenaries and scouts.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: Charlton Heston, Richard Harris, Jim Hutton
Biography | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An aging Pat Garrett is hired as a lawman on behalf of a group of wealthy New Mexico cattle barons--his sole purpose being to bring down his old friend Billy the Kid.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, Richard Jaeckel
Junior Bonner (1972)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Ace Bonner returns to Arizona several years after he abandoned his family, Junior Bonner is a wild young man. Against the typical rodeo championship, family drama erupts.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: Steve McQueen, Robert Preston, Ida Lupino
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Ex-army officer accidentally kills a woman's son, tries to make up for it by escorting the funeral procession through dangerous Indian territory.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: Maureen O'Hara, Brian Keith, Steve Cochran
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An American bartender and his prostitute girlfriend go on a road trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a $1 million bounty on the head of a dead gigolo.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Robert Webber
Action | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A former sheriff blames himself for his wife's death during a Wells Fargo robbery and vows to track down and kill the seven men responsible.

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Randolph Scott, Gail Russell, Lee Marvin
Ride Lonesome (1959)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A bounty hunter escorts a killer to town to be hanged, but is allowing the man's outlaw brother to catch up with him, for a showdown over a shocking previous murder.

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Randolph Scott, Karen Steele, Pernell Roberts
Action | Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Mike Locke, who works for a private security firm affiliated with the CIA, is betrayed by his partner and left apparently crippled for life.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: James Caan, Robert Duvall, Arthur Hill
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A man saves a woman who had been kidnapped by Comanches, then struggles to get both of them home alive.

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Randolph Scott, Nancy Gates, Claude Akins
The Tall T (1957)
Romance | Thriller | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An independent former ranch foreman is kidnapped along with an heiress, who is being held for ransom by trio of ruthless outlaws.

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Randolph Scott, Richard Boone, Maureen O'Sullivan
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Elsa Knudsen
Ron Starr ...
Heck Longtree
...
...
Joshua Knudsen
Jenie Jackson ...
Kate
...
...
Sylvus Hammond
...
...
Jimmy Hammond
...
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

Showdown in the High Sierras!

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 July 1962 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Guns in the Afternoon  »

Box Office

Budget:

$813,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Mariette Hartley's first film. See more »

Goofs

Returning to Elsa's farm at the end of the movie and looking down at it from the hill, a set of dual tire tracks can be seen in the dirt. See more »

Quotes

Elder Hammond: You can't take a wife away from her husband on his wedding night.
Judge Tolliver: Clear case of breaking and entering.
Elder Hammond: Elsa's legally married to Billy. Right, Judge?
Judge Tolliver: I now pr'nounce you man 'n wife... and, don't you forget it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Introducing Mariette Hartley See more »

Connections

Referenced in Passion & Poetry: Sam's Trucker Movie (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

For She's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung at the wedding
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Justified
7 November 2006 | by (Greenwich, CT United States) – See all my reviews

It was goodbye to two stars from the golden age of Westerns and hello to a director who would help transform the genre into something bloodier, nastier, and truer. A skillful compromise of those visions, "Ride The High Country" presents a kind of crossroads that feels more like a destination, a perfect summing-up of the legend and the reality of the American West.

Steve Judd (Joel McCrea) is a weary old lawman trying to make ends meet as he nears the end of the road. To transport some gold from a mining town to a bank, he takes on the services of an old buddy, Gil Westrum (Randolph Scott). Westrum's as sleek and angling as Judd is square, and has more on his mind than collecting $10 a day risking his neck guarding someone else's money. While this remains unsettled, the pair gets mixed up with a woman (Mariette Hartley) who thinks she's in love with a miner whose idea of a honeymoon means sharing the wealth with his hideous brothers.

Ask anyone with a glancing knowledge of films what kind of movies Sam Peckinpah made, and they will likely describe a movie very different from this. There's some shooting, a little blood, and an unshaven Warren Oates, but otherwise "Ride The High Country" is a movie in the classic Western mold. There are some dissonances for Scott and McCrea's old-time fans to sort through, like Scott's ambiguous morality, but this is all-in-all the nicest movie Peckinpah ever made, decent characters set against an inspiring landscape, the kind of yarn John Ford or Anthony Mann would have delivered.

Not that everything is too black-and-white. The girl, having escaped her stern father and the stump farm where they lived, asks Judd at one point about right and wrong: "It isn't that simple, is it?" "No, it isn't," Judd replies. "It should be, but it isn't."

McCrea is the center of this film, a pillar of virtue. He quotes the Bible, but it's not clear he's especially religious or just stoic in the classic tradition. When he talks about his simple desire "to enter my house justified," he may have the Christian meaning in mind, or just the humanistic ideal of having been a good man when all is said and done. Nevertheless, there are intimations of a deeper truth in the redemption of Westrum and his unambiguous last line: "I'll see you later."

Peckinpah does present a bull-headed Christian zealot in R.G. Armstrong as the girl's father, but he's essentially decent, afraid of life, what it did to him and can do to her. Some see a suggestion of incest in their relationship, when she tells him he doesn't want her with any man but him, but it's more likely that's her complaining about his being overprotective.

There's a lot of humor here, too, much of it courtesy of Randolph Scott. Scott could be a stiff in other films; here he settles nicely into the role of a cut-up, like when he watches his young charge Heck get the tar beaten out of him twice without lifting a finger to help him. "Good fight, I enjoyed it," Westrum chirps as the boy licks his wounds.

The film culminates in a good fight with the Hammonds, so ornery they jeer at Heck when he brings the girl to their doorstep and she assures them he was a gentleman: "How come? Something wrong with him?" It's the one gunfight in the film, and though its one more than some Peckinpah films like "Junior Bonner" had, it's another reason for the film sticking out as unusual in the director's oeuvre.

But it's a good kind of difference, for the most part, as Peckinpah finds his métier while paying tribute to those who came before him with the help of McCrea and Scott. Like its heroes, "Ride The High Country" moves a little slowly in parts, but watching it, you'll likely agree with me the long journey is worth the ride.


12 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
most underated western? andybriers1969
implied incest?? alfredmcclinton
Whatever happened to Ron Starr? dbdumonteil
Anyone else feel this way? joet1999
MUSIC Django44
Bible texts quoted in the movie bebop63-1
Discuss Ride the High Country (1962) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?