In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the U.S., 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.
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
Those silly jackasses over there can laugh at me all they want, but they're in a spot of trouble. Now wouldn't you think a stage line could see that? In all the long, wrought out, back-breakin', kidney-shakin', bladder-bustin' miles from here to Lizard, there's not one spot of wet relief for man or beast! Now, if I could bring comfort to the passengers, rest to the teams, food and drink to the drivers, and water to all, well what would be wrong with that? Now listen, there's a preacher out at ...
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When people mention Sam Peckinpah, the film most mentioned is The Wild Bunch. While I'm a big fan of that very violent film, I find out that most people don't even know about The Ballad Of Cable Houge, which I feel is his finest film.
The film is about a would be prospector named Cable Houge (Jason Robards in his best performance and that's saying a lot), who is left to die out in the desert with no water by his too partners (Strother Martin and L.Q. Jones). After almost dying out in the desert Cable actually finds water. He then buys the land and makes it a stop in the desert for stagecoaches to stop and refresh the horses. He becomes friends to a traveling and lecherous preacher (well played by David Warner) and a sweet prostitute, Hilly (played by the sweet faced Stella Stevens). But what Cable is mainly doing is lying in wait for the time that he runs into his former partners again.
It's a simple fable told with very little violence, and it's well told. It's definitely not the film that you would expect from the man who made the Wild Bunch. Warner Bros. who released it didn't know what to do with it and just threw out at the public with very little publicity, and the film never go the attention that it should have. Hopefully future film scholars with rediscover this gem and lift it from obscurity.
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