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The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  13 May 1970 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 5,984 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 whore 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."


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was the favorite film of the director. Often, when asked to speak about his work, he brought a print of this film to show, instead of one of his more famous works. 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 »


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 »


Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Lyrics by Richard Gillis
Performed by Richard Gillis
See more »

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User Reviews

Sam Peckinpah's Multigenred Masterpiece
14 April 2006 | by (Savannah, GA) – See all my reviews

Fresh off his triumphant "The Wild Bunch" and just before his astounding "Straw Dogs," Sam Peckipah made this "little picture," that flopped. However, while "The Wild Bunch" and "Straw Dogs" are terrific movies, "Ballad of Cable Hogue" is the most accomplished of the three. It certainly is hard to categorize "...Hogue," thematically. It includes strong elements of the following genres: o Violent western o Slapstick comedy o Sophisticated comedy o Romantic comedy o Love story o Social commentary o Spiritual film

With the exception of the rather silly slapstick, director Sam Peckinpah handles all these elements superbly, particularly the social commentary, spiritual elements and love story. Much credit is due to a fine cast, particularly actress Stella Stevens and actor David Warner, who both deserved Oscar nominations. Stevens, as the prostitute, "Hildy," mines the "...heart of gold" and hits the mother lode. Hers is one of the all time great performances by an actress. Warner's manipulative preacher, "Josh," manages to be alternately witty, lecherous, noble and profound, without missing a beat.

The best I can say about Jason Robards as "Cable" is, if you loved his character, "Cheyenne" from "Once Upon a Time in the West," you love his "Cable Hogue."

Don't read the plot of this movie. Go in as I did in 1970, not knowing what to expect. You'll be amused, touched, aroused (particularly if your a male) and saddened. It's all here. How many films can you say that about?

I give "The Ballad of Cable Hogue" a "10."

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