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The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970)

Jason Robards , Stella Stevens , Nick Redman , Sam Peckinpah  |  R |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jason Robards, Stella Stevens, David Warner, Strother Martin, Slim Pickens
  • Directors: Nick Redman, Sam Peckinpah
  • Writers: Gordon T. Dawson, Edmund Penney, John Crawford
  • Producers: Nick Redman, Gordon T. Dawson, Jonathan Redman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2006
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BT96DM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,206 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Ballad of Cable Hogue" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by Peckinpah biographers/documentarians Nick Redman, Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle
  • New featurette: The Ladiest Damn'd Lady with Stella Stevens
  • Vintage featurette: Sam Peckinpah's West: A Study of the Filmmaker
  • Peckinpah trailer gallery

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Sam Peckinpah's light-hearted, rambunctious ode to the dying Wild West, with Jason Robards as a rascally prospector who transforms a desert water-hole into big business. Year: 1970 Director: Sam Peckinpah Starring: Jason Robards, Stella Stevens, David Warner

What does it tell us that Sam Peckinpah's most joyous and life-affirming movie is also his most underappreciated? The Ballad of Cable Hogue was made in that singular moment when, having just completed The Wild Bunch, Peckinpah knew he was back in the game as a feature-film director; and before anyone (including Peckinpah himself?) had an inkling of how completely he was about to redefine the Western genre, contemporary American filmmaking, and his own personal legend.

Cable Hogue is a splendiferous entertainment: a grufty Western tall tale, a lusty comedy, and also (in critic Kathleen Murphy's phrase) "a musical about the economic and emotional complexities of capitalism." Its title character--Jason Robards in a great, exuberant gift of a performance--is an ornery varmint left by two scurrilous partners (L.Q. Jones and Strother Martin) to die in the desert. Through pure cussedness and what may be dumb luck, may be divine intervention, he "finds water where it wasn't" and survives. Nothing to do now but settle back, let his waterhole--the only one on the stage line between Deaddog and Gila--make him a rich man, and await the day those two old partners drop by his waystation.

Besides such Peckinpah regulars as Slim Pickens, R.G. Armstrong, and Gene Evans, the movie features Stella Stevens in her career-best role as Hildy, Hogue's best reason for getting into town now and again, and David Warner, an itinerant preacher and full-time lech who becomes his soulmate. Lucien Ballard photographed, and there's a charming song score (by Richard Gillis) whose neglect is as mystifying as that of the film. Above all, there is Sam Peckinpah exulting in the lyrical, heart-filling possibilities of making a motion picture, trying just about anything, and finding it beautiful. This film was his personal favorite. --Richard T. Jameson

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buried Treasure June 21, 2006
The Ballad of Cable Hogue is buried treasure - an outstanding film by a legendary director with brilliant performances that is still little known and rarely seen. Sam Peckinpah made it just months after his groundbreaking film, The Wild Bunch, and both films deal with the same topic - the end of the western frontier, although in radically different ways. While The Wild Bunch is a violently realistic film about a breed of western gunmen who had outlived their day, The Ballad of Cable Hogue is a stylized fable, by turn tender, dark, comic, and tragic that depicts the last days of another sort of western archetypal man. It may be that the film's resistance to easy categorization (is it a comedy? a tragic love story? a morality tale of revenge? a musical?) is responsible for its continued obscurity, but I find it an element of its greatness, and concur with Peckinpah, who characterized the film as part Keystone Cops, part Sartre's The Fly, and considered it his favorite of all his movies.

There are many reasons to love this film, including its stunning scenery of awesome, big sky desert landscapes, and a unique, lilting soundtrack with songs that become mysteriously etched in your mind. Yet its foremost strength is its brilliant performances from an impressive cast. Jason Robards plays the title role, brilliantly rendering the tough as boot leather yet vulnerable Hogue as charming and totally unforgettable. Stella Stevens delivers the crowning performance of her career as Hildy, a prostitute who aspires to go to San Francisco to become the "ladiest damn'd lady", yet unaccountably falls in love with the desert rat Hogue. Stevens and Robards together create an utterly believable screen romance that not only crackles with passion, but conveys real depths of caring and emotion.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant little gem of a movie. March 1, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Starring Jason Robards & Stella Stevens and Directed by Sam Peckinpah, The Ballad of Cable Hogue is a brilliant little gem of a movie that somehow never made it onto the national radar screen when it was released. A major departure for Peckinpah, whose forte back then was the ultra violent epic-movies like The Wild Bunch and the highly acclaimed Straw Dogs-The Ballad of Cable Hoague tells the tail of a fellow abandoned for dead out in the western desert who is lucky enough to find the equivalent of an oasis and converts the spot into a way station for the pony express and the stage coach runs of the time. Wonderfully acted by Robards as Hoague and Stella Stevens as the nearby town's "working girl" as his romantic interest, the story is in essence a depiction of western life and the characters of the time.
This was a wonderful vehicle for may well know western character actors of the day: It's full of those sort of actor you recognize in an instant and have no idea what their name is. The story is sweet and engaging and the movie is totally devoid of the violence and gore that Peckinpah was famous for at the time.
So, if you are the sort of person who wants a movie to actually tell a story, actually present real characters, and warm your heart-this is definitely a choice you should make. You will not be disappointed.
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93 of 112 people found the following review helpful
This upcoming release from Warner bros will contain the following:

-The Wild Bunch Two-Disc Special Edition, Disc 1:

* Commentary by Peckinpah biographers/documentarians Nick Redman, Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle

* New digital transfer (16x9 2.35:1)

* Peckinpah trailer gallery

* Languages: English and French

* Subtitles: English, French and Spanish

Special Features Disc 2:

* Never-before-seen The Wild Bunch outtakes

* Additional scenes

* 3 documentaries

o Sam Peckinpah's West: Legacy of a Hollywood Renegade - A feature-length biography of the legendary director, featuring rare film clips, interviews with family and colleagues, and narration by Kris Kristofferson.

o 1996 Oscar Nominee The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage

o A Simple Adventure Story: Sam Peckinpah, Mexico and the Wild Bunch

-Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid Two Disc Special Edition, Disc 1:

* 2005 Special Edition: (115 Mins.)

* Commentary by Special Edition Producer Nick Redman, Supervising Editor Paul Seydor and fellow Peckinpah biographers/documentarians Garner Simmons and David Weddle

* Peckinpah trailer gallery

* Languages: English and French

* Subtitles: English, French and Spanish (Feature Films Only)

Special Features Disc 2:

* 1988 Turner Preview Version: (122 Mins.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Long Last. January 13, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
We finally get treated to pristine quality discs of what are, for me, the greatest group of Westerns ever made. By any filmmaker. Ever. Great widescreen renderings of beautiful works of art previously relegated, with the exception of Wild Bunch, to full screen vhs that did not begin to do them justice. P. G. & Billy the Kid is a dvd revelation, offering two different cuts to enjoy and mull over. Yes, the extras are a mixed bag, with those attached to Wild Bunch providing the best of the group, although the commentaries by these Peckinpah scholars are worthwhile on all 4 films. All I can say is, it certainly is about time to provide quality transfers of some of the finest films from this brilliant, uncompromising filmmaker. Often imitated but never equalled, there will never be another Sam Peckinpah. Wild Bunch is not just my favorite Western, it has to stand as my favorite movie of all time, and the other three aren't far behind. It is still amazing to me that, for the 1994 reissue to theatres of The Wild Bunch, the film-lovers at MPAA almost slapped their infamous NC-17 on this classic Western, which had been made 25 YEARS previously. In 1994, mind you, these champions of morality and good taste in movies were calling THIS film a piece of pornography. Talk about a film with astonishing powers that cannot be eroded by the passing years! Can certainly recommend this exciting set to all fans of the genre, and to all fans of flat-out great fimmmaking.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie. An allegory of thenold ways giving way ...
Excellent movie. An allegory of thenold ways giving way to the new. Jason Robards was fascinating as Cable. Stella Stevens was beautiful and great as his light o love.
Published 1 month ago by Vincent B. Talbot
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
would give it 6 stars if i could
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Under rated really good movie!
One of my favorite movies. Great Music!
Published 1 month ago by too tall tom
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good flim.
Published 2 months ago by jerry patterson
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A really fine film and well worth the viewing time!
Published 3 months ago by Film Freak
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A true classic
Published 3 months ago by John L. Curtis
4.0 out of 5 stars Good western
Good western. Has a decent story and some humor. Jason Robards plays the part well.
Published 3 months ago by Tina North
5.0 out of 5 stars wish more movies were as good.
One of my most enjoyable movies, wish more movies were as good.
Published 3 months ago by Cray Chee
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ballad of Cable Hogue
My friend Richard Gillis wrote the words to all the songs on this movie. Thank you Richard for music. Leslie Page
Published 4 months ago by Leslie Page
5.0 out of 5 stars Classics and a must have for western fans
If you like westerns, then this is for you. Sam peckinpah was a pioneer to say the least. Great story's, acting and camera work.
Published 5 months ago by Rad
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I've got a pretty sweet "Spaghetti Western Double Feature" DVD with the first Luigi Vanzi/Tony Anthony "stranger" films released by Alfa Digital - "A STRANGER IN TOWN" (AKA "UN DOLLARO TRAIDENTI/A DOLLAR BETWEEN THE TEETH") and "THE STRANGER RETURNS... Read More
Dec 20, 2007 by S-> |  See all 2 posts
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