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High Plains Drifter (1973)

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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.

Director:

Clint Eastwood

Writer:

Ernest Tidyman
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... The Stranger
Verna Bloom ... Sarah Belding
Marianna Hill ... Callie Travers (as Mariana Hill)
Mitchell Ryan ... Dave Drake
Jack Ging ... Morgan Allen
Stefan Gierasch ... Mayor Jason Hobart
Ted Hartley Ted Hartley ... Lewis Belding
Billy Curtis ... Mordecai
Geoffrey Lewis ... Stacey Bridges
Scott Walker ... Bill Borders
Walter Barnes ... Sheriff Sam Shaw
Paul Brinegar ... Lutie Naylor
Richard Bull ... Asa Goodwin
Robert Donner ... Preacher
John Hillerman ... Bootmaker
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Aim to see it! See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Western

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 August 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

High Plains Drifter See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$15,700,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Malpaso Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Other headstones bear the names of Don Siegel (Clint Eastwood's director on five films, four of which preceded this one) and Brian G. Hutton (director of Where Eagles Dare (1968) and Kelly's Heroes (1970)). Patrick McGilligan's 2002 Eastwood biography quotes the star as saying, "I buried my directors." See more »

Goofs

As the Stranger rides through the town for the first time, he passes the Lago Miners Hall twice. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Alternate Versions

When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure an 'X' rating. All cuts were waived in 1987 when the film was granted an '18' certificate for home video. See more »

Connections

Featured in About Time (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Clint Eastwood vehicle playing his usual character as avenger gunslinger
30 July 2009 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This violent Western is set on Northern outdoors and the star is a mysterious revenger, ¨a man without name¨ , who comes to the aid of embattled citizens. It deals about a gunfighter (Clint Eastwood) arriving a little town called Lago that has the usual shops and buildings, as General merchandise, Livery stable, Hardware, Barber shop, Saloon , Hotel and of course the Church. The drifter donning his six-guns is contracted by townspeople to protect them from a trio of avenge-seeking outlaws(Geoffrey Lewis, Dan Vadis, Anthony James)who have justly released from jail. But the villagers wind up painting the little town and calling it : ¨Hell¨.

Well crafted Western with interesting screenplay by Ernest Tidyman. Although atmospheric , it's also downbeat and sometimes just downright nasty. The story is almost terrific as the drifter comes to strange frontier town just in time to reckoning villagers and bandits. This stirring picture contains a powerful examination of morality and hypocrisy on people of a little town. Good casting with several secondaries as Michell Ryan, Marianna Hill, Verna Bloom, Walter Barnes, Robert Donner and special mention to Billy Curtis as midget become Sheriff and Mayor. Exquisitely shot by Robert Surtees with a magnificent cinematography on the barren exteriors and snowy mountains backgrounds. Thrilling and suspenseful musical score by Dee Burton. The film is made in somewhat similar style to ¨Pale rider (1985)¨, only this time the drifter appears to have been sent from hell rather than heaven to right from ordinary injustices. Later on, Eastwood produced and directed another successful Western ¨Unforgiven(1992)¨ also with some common theme.


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