The Hi-Lo Country (1998)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance, Western  |  22 January 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 3,634 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 44 critic

An intimate story of the enduring bond of friendship between two hard-living men, set against a sweeping backdrop: the American West, post-World War II, in its twilight. Pete and Big Boy ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay)
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4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Little Boy Matson
Levi Gomez
Darren E. Burrows ...
Billy Harte (as Darren Burrows)
Delfino Mondragon
Jack Couffer
Sandy Baron ...
Mona Birk
Les Birk
Craig Carter ...
Art Logan
Walter C. Hall ...


An intimate story of the enduring bond of friendship between two hard-living men, set against a sweeping backdrop: the American West, post-World War II, in its twilight. Pete and Big Boy are masters of the prairie, but ultimately face trickier terrain: the human heart. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A woman like Mona can drive men to extremes.


Drama | Romance | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality, a scene of violence, and for brief language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:


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Release Date:

22 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hi-Lo Country  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$17,712 (USA) (1 January 1999)


$163,810 (USA) (12 March 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Sam Peckinpah tried to get this movie produced for years, but unfortunately he died before he had the chance. See more »


After Billy urinates on Steve Shaw and the lawyer in the bar, different shots do not show any urine on the floor or table where they had been sitting. See more »


Big Boy Matson: If he ain't chicken, he sure has henhouse ways.
See more »

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User Reviews

This movie could have been great
11 May 2002 | by (Arden Hills, Minnesota, USA) – See all my reviews

This movie has all the ingredients to make a great movie. It is beautifully photographed with wonderful western landscapes. It has one of Woody Harrelson's best performances as a hard drinking, hard working, hard loving good old boy rancher. It has excellent support from Sam Elliot, Billy Crudup and Penelope Cruz. It is set in the late 40's, early 50's when small independent ranchers are being replaced by large commercial farms.

The problem with this movie is that is focuses way too much on the three way relationship between Billy Crudup, Woody Harrelson and Patricia Arquette. Arquette and Harrelson are lovers and Crudup lusts after Arquette. This relationship is not believable because Arquette's character is untrustworthy, amoral, and a liar. The woman who is more interested in Crudup is the Penelope Cruz character. The movie never explains why Crudup would prefer Arquette over the much more beautiful and sexy Cruz.

The Sam Elliot character is wasted. He does a good job of portraying the businessman rancher. He is not evil, but all the small time ranchers hate him because he is contributing to, and a symbol of, the end of small ranches. But it is not Sam Elliot that is destroying the small ranches, it is the progress of commercialization which Sam Elliot represents. It is this contradiction between good person Sam Elliot is and the evil that he represents that makes is character so interesting. This movie should have been more about Sam Elliot.

The movie falls apart into silly soap opera / action movie like scenes at the end. It abandons the interesting character study and gives us emergency rescues in a storm, deaths, murders, cover-ups and "dramatic" revelations. Those scenes belong in some other movie.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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