The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  13 May 1970 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 6,040 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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Fairchild
Peter Whitney ...
Gene Evans ...
William Mims ...
Mrs. Jensen
Max Evans ...
Webb Seely
James Anderson ...


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?


Several crew members were fired from this film. It was the job of one crew member to have bus tickets back to Los Angeles for a fired crew member. If someone lost their job, Sam Peckinpah would ask, "Do you have a bus ticket for them?" See more »


When the Rev. Sloan is comforting Claudia and unbuttons her blouse, it is obvious that her skirt has a zipper. The movie takes place in 1908, but the modern zipper that would be used on clothing wasn't designed until 1913 and patented in 1917. See more »


Cable Hogue: Listen. I was robbed and left to die without a drop. Well, do I look dead? No, sir! Climbed up on my hind feet and walked straight to water. W-A-T-L-E. That sorta grabs you by the sort hairs, don't it?
See more »


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


Tomorrow is the Song I Sing (Main Title)
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Lyrics by Richard Gillis
Performed by Richard Gillis
See more »

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User Reviews

Stirring and lyrical Western marvelously performed and compellingly directed
15 May 2010 | by See all my reviews

This classic Western deal with Cable Hogue (Jason Robards) a roguish hustler who in search of good life discovers water and gets property some lands placed on a desert in remote part of the Old West . After getting its register in the Land Office , Cable meets a whore (Stella Stevens) and falls in love with her . Cable along with the prostitute and a lecherous priest (David Warner) care his stopover as resort-lodging of a line stage. Hogue's Castle was a real-life hotel which was acquired in Bishop, California. It was packed-up and transported along with its own furniture to its shooting location across the border in Nevada.

Interesting story about a loner who turns into successful entrepreneur is deliberately paced by Sam Peckinpah and the production base for the film was at Echo Bay, Nevada . A twilight story ,¨Ballad of Cable Hogue¨ is a director Sam Peckinpah's lovely effort, feeling look at the world of the Western. Jason Robards , engagingly easygoing but obstinate , is the title character, a drifter who strives to preserve his values in an often harsh modern world . Robards turns a magnificent acting as a hustler who is searching in a changing world for values that have long time disappeared . He also must deal with his two enemies well played by usual Peckinpah couple, L.Q. Jones and Strother Martin , and a lovely whore wonderfully performed by Stella Stevens in his best role ever acted . Sam Peckinpah started work on this film almost immediately after finishing work on the landmark ¨Wild bunch¨ that is why Strother Martin and L.Q. Jones were cast in similar roles in both films . David Warner is particularly fine as the raunchy priest and in his relationship to Jason Robards strike real sparks. Furthermore, it contains an emotive score by the master Jerry Goldsmith, adding various sensitive country-western songs . Colorful and glimmer cinematography by Lucien Ballard, Peckinpah's usual, make this one a winner. An agreeable western with marvelous interpretations and exciting , enjoyable images including split-frames and fast-motion . This outstanding motion picture is stunningly directed by Sam Peckinpah, creating a true classic . Restored and reissued various times with diverse running . ¨The Ballad of Cable Hogue ¨ is a real must see for fans of the genre . This is a much quieter movie than habitual from ¨Cross of Iron¨, ¨Straw dogs¨, ¨The getaway¨, ¨Wild bunch¨ , ¨Major Dundee¨ director Sam Peckinpah who has always a deft eye for period detail . Rating : Above average, well worth watching .

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