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   8,311 votes »
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Up 213% 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:
Sam Peckinpah is here to stay... 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)
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)
Michael T. Mikler ... Hank (uncredited)
Spec O'Donnell ... Pianist (uncredited)

Carmen Phillips ... Saloon Girl (uncredited)
Myrna Ross ... Dancehall Girl (uncredited)
Wayne Tucker ... Wes (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:
Joel McCrea also retired after making this movie, but later agreed to appear in a few more films. He finally retired from acting at the age of 69 after making Mustang Country (1976).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:
Steve Judd:[Sees Heck carelessly discarding a paper wrapper on the ground] Pick that up! These mountains don't need your trash.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
For She's a Jolly Good FellowSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
29 out of 39 people found the following review useful.
Sam Peckinpah is here to stay..., 12 September 2006

After a time working as director and writer of Western TV Series, Sam Peckinpah started his career on film with "The Deadly Companions",a romantic Western that seemed like an extension of his work on TV; however, his next film, "Ride the High Country", was an completely different beast, it was a deep meditation on the long-lived Western genre that introduced themes that would become Peckinpah's obsessions and signature: the end of an era and the quest for redemption and meaning in life. This raw masterpiece faced a cold reception when it premiered, but gained a tremendous success overseas (winning the Belgium Film Festival), demonstrating to the world that this newcomer was here to stay.

Former lawman Steve Judd (Joel McCrea) is now an aging man, and is hired to transport gold from a mining community through a dangerous territory. As he has the need to hire assistants, he finds his old friend and former partner Gil Westrum (Randolph Scott) and hires him and Westrum's young protegé, Heck Longtree (Ron Starr) to assist him. However, Steve doesn't know that his two assistants are planning to steal the gold, with or without Steve's help. Things will get complicated when the trio is forced to help a young woman named Elsa (Mariette Hartley) to escape from her fianceé and his criminal brothers.

Written by another veteran of Western TV series, N.B. Stone Jr. (who without a doubt worked with Peckinpah in "The Rifleman"), "Ride The High Country" is a clear step forward in the evolution of the Western as a film genre. As one of the first "revisionist" westerns, it shows a meditation on the genre and how two aging men become outdated by their world and suddenly obsolete. Through powerful lines of dialog and a slowly and carefully constructed plot, the film shows Peckinpah's favorite themes like honor, loyalty, redemption and the destruction of the West (both the historical one and the Western genre) for the first time in one of the most moving Westerns ever. As many have pointed out, one doesn't need to like Westerns to appreciate this film, as it's basic theme of humanity facing change is an immortal one.

Peckinpah's love for the genre is quite obvious and lead to an awesome use of the genre's elements. Starting with a great camera-work that stands as a heir of John Ford's, exchanging Ford's Monument Valley for the beauty nature of Inyo National Forest in California. Forecasting the Spaghetti Western revolution, Peckinpah's realistic Western makes its first appearance, and even when it's considerably less raw than the violent world of "The Wild Bunch", it's a step ahead of the classic Western. In many ways this was not only the beginning of Peckinpah's career, but also of the revisionism in Westerns and the evolution that would change the genre forever.

The inspired casting of Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea in the lead roles is simply brilliant, as no one else but this former legends of classic Western films could embody the meaning of their characters, two old men that easily could had been the future of the many lawmen these two actor played in their lives. It was Scott's last film before retiring, and really it couldn't been a better closure for a career. Newcomers Mariette Hartley and Ron Starr represent the new West, too naive and ignorant of the past that precedes them; and both actor's performances are top-notch, although Starr is definitely the weakest link in the cast.

It's hard to believe that this movie almost was a failure in the U.S., but fortunately now it is receiving the attention it rightfully deserves. The natural landscape and the contrast of the new and the old make a great visual composition, almost as the missing link between the classic golden age of Ford and Wayne, and its modern counterparts. The film has few minor flaws, such as the average performance of some members of the cast, but nothing really annoying. Modern viewers may feel it moves too slow, but that slow pace actually enhances the feeling of that slow but steady change that suddenly caught the characters.

"Ride the High Country" is not a very famous film, but it really deserves a wider audience, not only because it introduced us to Peckinpah's film-making, but also because of its deep meditation on the Western genre and its wonderful immortal theme of mankind facing change. All in all, this film is a very recommended one, and I dare to say it's Peckinpah's first raw masterpiece. 9/10

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