IMDb > Ride the High Country (1962)
Ride the High Country
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Ride the High Country (1962) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   8,326 votes »
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Down 34% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
N.B. Stone Jr. (written by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Ride the High Country on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 July 1962 (Japan) See more »
Tagline:
Showdown in the High Sierras!
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(27 articles)
Comanche Station
 (From Trailers from Hell. 14 September 2014, 10:00 PM, PDT)

Top Western Star: Squared-Jawed Scott
 (From Alt Film Guide. 20 August 2013, 4:45 PM, PDT)

Blu-ray Review: Sam Peckinpah's "Major Dundee" (1965) Starring Charlton Heston And Richard Harris
 (From CinemaRetro. 19 August 2013, 12:24 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Justified See more (110 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Randolph Scott ... Gil Westrum

Joel McCrea ... Steve Judd

Mariette Hartley ... Elsa Knudsen
Ron Starr ... Heck Longtree

Edgar Buchanan ... Judge Tolliver

R.G. Armstrong ... Joshua Knudsen
Jenie Jackson ... Kate

James Drury ... Billy Hammond

L.Q. Jones ... Sylvus Hammond

John Anderson ... Elder Hammond
John Davis Chandler ... Jimmy Hammond

Warren Oates ... Henry Hammond
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alice Allyn ... Candy (uncredited)
Chet Brandenburg ... Miner (uncredited)
Don Brodie ... Spieler (uncredited)
Chris Carter ... Rose (uncredited)
Byron Foulger ... Abner Sampson (uncredited)
Frank Hagney ... Miner (uncredited)
Percy Helton ... Luther Sampson (uncredited)

Victor Izay ... Jake (uncredited)
Don Kennedy ... Policeman on Street (uncredited)
Jack Kenny ... Miner (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... Spieler (uncredited)
Mina Martinez ... Belle (uncredited)

Charles McQuary ... Townsman (uncredited)
Michael T. Mikler ... Hank (uncredited)
Spec O'Donnell ... Pianist (uncredited)

Carmen Phillips ... Saloon Girl (uncredited)
Myrna Ross ... Dancehall Girl (uncredited)
Wayne Tucker ... Wes (uncredited)
Chalky Williams ... Townsman (uncredited)

Directed by
Sam Peckinpah 
 
Writing credits
N.B. Stone Jr. (written by) (as N. B. Stone Jr.)

Sam Peckinpah  uncredited
Robert Creighton Williams  uncredited

Produced by
Richard E. Lyons .... producer
 
Original Music by
George Bassman 
 
Cinematography by
Lucien Ballard (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Frank Santillo 
 
Art Direction by
Leroy Coleman 
George W. Davis 
 
Set Decoration by
Henry Grace 
Otto Siegel 
 
Makeup Department
Mary Keats .... hair styles
William Tuttle .... makeup artist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hal W. Polaire .... assistant director (as Hal Polaire)
 
Art Department
Matty Azzarone .... leadman (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Franklin Milton .... recording supervisor
 
Stunts
Bill Catching .... stunts (uncredited)
Al Wyatt Sr. .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Charles K. Hagedon .... color consultant
 
Music Department
George Bassman .... conductor
Albert Sendrey .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • Panavision  photographic lenses by (as Panavision®)
  • U.S. Forest Service  we wish to express our thanks to, for its cooperation in filming scenes in Inyo National Forest (as the Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
94 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | Portugal:M/12 | Spain:T | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating: Ride the High Country) (1996) | USA:Approved (certificate #20105) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Randolph Scott tried to interest Budd Boetticher in doing the film, but the director was in Mexico tied up with his documentary "Arruza."See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: (at around 14 mins) In the restaurant fight, the wall moves when one of the fighters bounces off of it.See more »
Quotes:
Elsa Knudsen:What's gonna happen to him?
Steve Judd:The boy? I'll testify for him. They shouldn't be too hard.
Elsa Knudsen:Will you testify for Mr. Westrum?
Steve Judd:No, I wont.
Elsa Knudsen:Why?
Steve Judd:Because he was my friend.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
When the Roll Is Called Up YonderSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Justified, 7 November 2006
Author: Bill Slocum (bill.slocum@gmail.com) from Greenwich, CT United States

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.

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