Up 565 this week

High Plains Drifter (1973)

R  |   |  Western  |  22 August 1973 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 33,893 users  
Reviews: 162 user | 69 critic

A gunfighting stranger comes to the small settlement of Lago and is hired to bring the townsfolk together in an attempt to hold off three outlaws who are on their way.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video




Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Pale Rider (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A mysterious preacher protects a humble prospector village from a greedy mining company trying to encroach on their land.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Michael Moriarty, Carrie Snodgress
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A Missouri farmer joins a Confederate guerrilla unit and winds up on the run from the Union soldiers who murdered his family.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Chief Dan George
Hang 'Em High (1968)
Certificate: M Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When an innocent man barely survives a lynching, he returns as a lawman determined to bring the vigilantes to justice.

Director: Ted Post
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Inger Stevens, Pat Hingle
Certificate: M Adventure | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Nun Sara is on the run in Mexico and is saved from cowboys by Hogan, who is preparing for a future mission to capture a French fort. The pair become good friends, but Sara never does tell him the true reason behind her being outlawed.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Shirley MacLaine, Manolo Fábregas
Joe Kidd (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An ex-bounty hunter reluctantly helps a wealthy landowner and his henchmen track down a Mexican revolutionary leader.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall, John Saxon
The Enforcer (1976)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Dirty Harry must foil a terrorist organization made up of disgruntled Vietnam veterans. But this time, he's teamed with a rookie female partner that he's not too excited to be working with.

Director: James Fargo
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Tyne Daly, Harry Guardino
Magnum Force (1973)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Dirty Harry is on the trail of vigilante cops who are not above going beyond the law to kill the city's undesirables.

Director: Ted Post
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Hal Holbrook, Mitchell Ryan
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A classical art professor and collector, who doubles as a professional assassin, is coerced out of retirement to avenge the murder of an old friend.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, George Kennedy, Vonetta McGee
Sudden Impact (1983)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A rape victim is exacting revenge on her aggressors in a small town outside San Francisco. "Dirty" Harry Callahan, on suspension for angering his superiors (again), is assigned to the case.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle
The Gauntlet (1977)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A brief fling between a male disc jockey and an obsessed female fan takes a frightening, and perhaps even deadly turn when another woman enters the picture.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jessica Walter, Donna Mills
Dirty Harry (1971)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When a mad man calling himself 'the Scorpio Killer' menaces the city, tough as nails San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan is assigned to track down and ferret out the crazed psychopath.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Andrew Robinson, Harry Guardino


Cast overview, first billed only:
Callie Travers (as Mariana Hill)
Jack Ging ...
Ted Hartley ...
Stacey Bridges
Scott Walker ...
Bill Borders
Walter Barnes ...
Sheriff Sam Shaw
Asa Goodwin


A Stranger rides into in the dusty mining town of Lago, where the townspeople are living in the shadow of a dark secret. After a shootout leaves the town's hired-gun protectors dead, the town's leaders petition the Stranger to stay and protect them from three ruthless outlaws who are soon to be released from prison. The three have their sights set on returning to Lago to wreak havoc and take care of some unfinished business. A series of events soon has the townspeople questioning whether siding with the Stranger was a wise idea as they quickly learn the price that they each must pay for his services. As the outlaws make their way back into Lago, they discover that the town is not exactly as they had left it, and waiting in the shadows is the Stranger, ready to expose the town's secret and serve up his own brand of justice. Written by bob-oconnor1964

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They'd never forget the day he drifted into town. See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 August 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ein Fremder ohne Namen  »

Box Office


SEK 1,512,351 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Bible verse on the wall of the church is Isaiah 53:3-4 which reads, "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted" See more »


In the scene where the stranger is taking a bath and the woman comes in to shoot him, there is an extra gun shot after the sheriff wraps her up in his arms. See more »


[first lines]
The Stranger: Beer... and a bottle.
Lutie Naylor: Ain't much good, but it's all there is.
[brings drinks]
Lutie Naylor: You want anything else?
The Stranger: Just a peaceful hour to drink it in.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing shot of The Stranger disappearing into the heatwaves plays out over the end credits. See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Pod People (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Supernatural Western?
20 July 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A lone gunman with no name and seemingly with no past, rides into the dusky town of Lago. The residents of Lago at first view the stranger with suspicion, but when news that some outlaws that are out for blood are on their way to town, they ask the stranger for his help.

This is Clint Eastwood's first Western film that he directed, and it's clear and evident that the guy not only loves the genre that made his name, he also knows what makes it work. Obviously having worked for Sergio Leone, Eastwood was making notes because High Plains Drifter oozes the mythical aura of many of Leone's finest genre offerings. To which, with thanks, the result is one of the best offerings in the 70s for the Oater enthusiast.

The film opens with our mysterious drifter slowly coming out of the beautiful sprawling haze and into Lago, it's ethereal, then there's just the sound of the horse breathing and the clop of its hooves that can be heard (the sound mix here is incredible), it's a gloriously mysterious opening that sets the tone perfectly. Yet Eastwood is just toying with us though, for a quick jolt of sex and violence snaps us out of the beatific warmth and into a quite hauntingly cold and morally challenged place. From here on in the stranger will demand all manner of odd things from the residents of Lago, he seems to be toying with them and revelling in their discomfort, with Lago quickly resembling an arid hellhole. You see, Lago has a dark secret, and our mysterious stranger has a purpose, and it's this purpose that makes High Plains Drifter an intriguing and gripping experience.

A well known fact now is that the great man of the genre, John Wayne, wrote Eastwood to strongly complain about his harsh vision of the West, one can only think the Duke failed to grasp the post Vietnam feel of a 70s made Western. It's a great directorial effort from Eastwood, more so when you marry up his acting performance to his directorial duties. Very much the perfect role, it lets Eastwood accentuate his rugged Western leanings. Eastwood would direct the similarly themed Pale Rider in the 80s and then the genre crown topper Unforgiven in the 90s. A Western great in each decade? Well that will always be debatable, but what we do know is that the Western genre was considerably lucky to have had such a man to keep the genre going for the newer interested wanderers into the Wild West.

Beautifully photographed (Bruce Surtees) on the shores of Mono Lake, California, it's a film pungent with sex, sadism, retribution and risks. High Plains Drifter is mystical and magnificent and essential Western fare. 9/10

39 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The reason you're all arguing about the rape scene. leapgirl16
Painting the town red? jonathan1956
oh so its not rape? then why would she try to shoot him the next day! jme90
'It's what people know about themselves inside that makes them afraid.' Gonsaro
'High Plains Drifter' remake: what would they do differently? lou-114
Interpretation of a quote mrnoonmaths
Discuss High Plains Drifter (1973) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: