The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  13 May 1970 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 6,043 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 29 critic

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


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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Fairchild
Peter Whitney ...
Gene Evans ...
William Mims ...
Mrs. Jensen
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Double-crossed and left without water in the desert, Cable Hogue is saved when he finds a spring. It is in just the right spot for a much needed rest stop on the local stagecoach line, and Hogue uses this to his advantage. He builds a house and makes money off the stagecoach passengers. Hildy, a sex worker from the nearest town, moves in with him. Hogue has everything going his way until the advent of the automobile ends the era of the stagecoach. Written by John Oswalt <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Cable Hogue says..."Do unto others... as you would have others do unto you."


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Release Date:

13 May 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Balladen om Cable Hogue  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,716,946 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Sam Peckinpah started work on this film almost immediately after finishing work on the landmark The Wild Bunch (1969). That is why Strother Martin and L.Q. Jones were cast in similar roles in both films. See more »


When Hildy is giving Hogue a bath and he gets out. as he is wrapping the towel around him, you can see his underwear on both sides of the towel. See more »


Reverend Joshua Sloan: He charged too much. He was as stingy as they come. Yes, he might have cheated, but he was square about it. Rich or poor, he gouged them all the same.
See more »


Referenced in That Moment: Magnolia Diary (2000) See more »


Wait for Me, Sunrise (End Title)
Written and Performed by Richard Gillis
Arranged by Jerry Goldsmith
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User Reviews

A tribute to the passing days of the Old West by a director/genius
26 February 2001 | by (Front Royal, VA) – See all my reviews

"The Ballad of Cable Hogue", when first released in 1970, may have caught the viewing public asleep. But, over the years, people have seen this film for what it truly is--a tribute by director Sam Peckinpah to the passing away of the old west, and a brilliant performance turned in by Jason Robards as a desert hobo who finally awakens to his need for touching base with the human race, ever so often.

Cable is left out in the desert by two comrades, Bowen and Taggart, to make his own way, or perish trying, as they head back to civilization. Hogue vows to catch up to them, but first, he has to find water, which he does, then establish a business for the stage line, which he is able to do, and show a profit. All this happens, and after several years of waiting, the two former friends do happen onto his way station, and a touch of revenge is extracted by Cable upon the two who left him in the desert.

This film has some remarkable elements; a great supporting cast led by Stella Stevens, playing Hildy, David Warner portrays a lecherous preacher who becomes Hogue's partner in the desert, and Strother Martin and L. Q. Jones add the touch of villiany this film needed. Also, the musical background will stay with the viewer long after the final credits have rolled. This movie is a fantastic portrayal of the fading era of the west, and Peckinpah left the public with a classic. 9/10, easily.

36 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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