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>
According to David Weddle, author of "If They Move, Kill 'Em: The Life And Times Of Sam Peckinpah", in August 1969 Warner Brothers showed its distributors a two and a half hour rough cut of the film without the knowledge of either Peckinpah or producer Phil Feldman. The director had urged the studio to hold off on their judgment (which was generally negative towards this rough cut) until he could cut another half hour from it. The studio allowed him to do so, but much more out of apathy than for any respect for his talent. Despite positive audience reactions of seventy percent at its previews in January and February 1970, the film was dumped onto the market in the spring with hardly any promotion behind it. According to Stella Stevens, "Warner Brothers didn't release it, they flushed it." See more »
Before Hildy kicks a hole in the door, the the shape of the weakened section can be made out from the outside. See more »
A tribute to the passing days of the Old West by a director/genius
"The Ballad of Cable Hogue", when first released in 1970, may have caught the viewing public asleep. But, over the years, people have seen this film for what it truly is--a tribute by director Sam Peckinpah to the passing away of the old west, and a brilliant performance turned in by Jason Robards as a desert hobo who finally awakens to his need for touching base with the human race, ever so often.
Cable is left out in the desert by two comrades, Bowen and Taggart, to make his own way, or perish trying, as they head back to civilization. Hogue vows to catch up to them, but first, he has to find water, which he does, then establish a business for the stage line, which he is able to do, and show a profit. All this happens, and after several years of waiting, the two former friends do happen onto his way station, and a touch of revenge is extracted by Cable upon the two who left him in the desert.
This film has some remarkable elements; a great supporting cast led by Stella Stevens, playing Hildy, David Warner portrays a lecherous preacher who becomes Hogue's partner in the desert, and Strother Martin and L. Q. Jones add the touch of villiany this film needed. Also, the musical background will stay with the viewer long after the final credits have rolled. This movie is a fantastic portrayal of the fading era of the west, and Peckinpah left the public with a classic. 9/10, easily.
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