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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
I think this is one of the funniest westerns ever made.
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.
This is the portrait of human being who will make the best he can in order to achieve his personal bliss, far from the madding crowd.
This movie is so diffefent from other westerns or Peckipaph film's it truly is an inspiration to original filmmaking by a master.Published 3 months ago by Christopher M. Styles
A lot of goodies in this well-meaning comedy western. Packinpah made this film in 1969 right after the much lauded violent western "Wild Bunch". Read morePublished 4 months ago by B. Ying