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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the opening scene, Hogue confronts a Gila monster. In the first shot, the lizard is on a large rock with its front left paw slipping over the side of the rock. After cutting to a shot of Hogue, the view returns to the gila monster who is now standing in the middle of the same rock with no time or ability to have moved. See more »
Yesterday, I told you I was thirsty and I thought you might turn up some water. Now about sinnin', you just send me a drop or two and I won't do it no more... whatever in hell it was that I did. I mean that, Lord.
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Extremely appealing fable from the celebrated director Sam Peckinpah, who works from an often poetic script by Edmund Penny and actor John Crawford. Here he and a very fine cast create some endearing characters worth getting to know. He also revisits the theme of the changing times in the American West (the story is set in 1908, and our characters marvel at the sight of a car). It crosses genres with ease - Western, drama, comedy - and even at 122 minutes, never feels padded out.
Jason Robards is excellent as the title character, betrayed by his lowlife associates, Bowen (Strother Martin), and Taggart (L.Q. Jones), and left to wander the desert on his own. Cable crosses the desert for days, almost certain to perish due to lack of water. Then, by miracle, Cable discovers an underground well of water. He travels to the nearest town to use his very meager funds to buy two acres in the area, and crafts what turns out to be a thriving way station in this desert wilderness. He also makes the acquaintance of wistful prostitute Hildy (Stella Stevens) and lustful preacher Joshua (David Warner).
Robards's compelling performance anchors this saga, as Cable courts the vague hope that someday Bowen and Taggart will stop by his place for water and he can get some revenge. The gorgeous Stevens - who does some rather tasteful nudity for the picture - flourishes in one of her best ever roles as Hildy, too, yearns for something more out of life. Warner supplies quite a bit of lecherous comedy relief, as he can't help helping himself to the ladies. This solid assemblage of actors also includes Slim Pickens, Peter Whitney, R.G. Armstrong, Gene Evans, Kathleen Freeman, and Vaughn Taylor.
Lovely, sun baked photography and a lush score by Jerry Goldsmith are other positive attributes to this poignant film, considered by some to be one of Peckinpahs' finest efforts.
Eight out of 10.
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