The Ballad of Cable Hogue

Watch The Ballad of Cable Hogue

"Cable Hogue says … “Do unto others … as you would have others do unto you.”"
  • R
  • 1970
  • 2 hr 1 min
  • 7.2  (10,439)

The Ballad of Cable Hogue is a 1970 American Western film directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Jason Robards, Stella Stevens, and David Warner. The movie has been regarded as one of Peckinpah's most underrated and overlooked films. The movie follows the story of Cable Hogue, a penniless prospector who is abandoned to die of thirst in the desert by his two partners. When he miraculously finds water in a dry canyon, he decides to settle down and open a way station for people traveling across the desert.

The movie opens with Cable Hogue being left in the middle of the desert by his two former partners Turk (played by Strother Martin) and Taggart (played by L.Q. Jones). They have stolen his horse and water supply, leaving him to die of thirst. Just when Hogue is about to give up hope, he stumbles upon a water source in a deserted canyon. Believing that he has been saved by divine intervention, Hogue decides to set up a water station in the location.

Years pass, and Hogue's water station becomes famous among travelers, especially among those who pass through the desert. He even becomes friends with Joshua (played by David Warner), a wandering preacher who comes to visit the water station. Hogue also becomes romantically involved with Hildy (played by Stella Stevens), a prostitute who works in a nearby town. The plot thickens when Turk and Taggart return, claiming that the land Hogue is operating on belongs to them. The tensions between the characters lead up to an exciting and action-packed climax.

The Ballad of Cable Hogue is notable not only for its unique story but also for its unconventional style. Peckinpah has always been known for his use of violence and intense action in his movies, but The Ballad of Cable Hogue takes a different approach. The movie's pacing is slow and deliberate, with long takes and extended dialogues. The characters' interactions and their relationships with one another are more important than the action scenes, which are few and far between.

Another notable aspect of this movie is its soundtrack. The movie's score, composed by Jerry Goldsmith, is an odd mixture of Western and modern music. The opening credits sequence features a ballad sung by Richard Gilliland, which sets the tone for the entire movie. The music adds to the movie's unique and unconventional atmosphere.

The actors' performances in The Ballad of Cable Hogue are top-notch. Jason Robards delivers an outstanding performance as Cable Hogue, portraying a complex character with depth and nuance. Robards manages to capture both Hogue's stubbornness and his vulnerability, making the audience root for him even when his actions are less than admirable. Stella Stevens is also excellent as Hildy, bringing a sensitivity to the role that makes the character more than just a typical prostitute. David Warner is also remarkable as the wandering preacher, Joshua.

In conclusion, the Ballad of Cable Hogue is a well-crafted, unique movie that deserves more recognition than it currently receives. Its unconventional pacing and mixture of music and genres make it a memorable and enjoyable watch. Its cast, led by Jason Robards, gives strong performances, and the writing is creative and intricate. The Ballad of Cable Hogue is a must-watch for fans of Westerns and for those who appreciate movies that take risks and try something different.

The Ballad of Cable Hogue is a 1970 comedy with a runtime of 2 hours and 1 minute. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2.

The Ballad of Cable Hogue
Where to Watch The Ballad of Cable Hogue
The Ballad of Cable Hogue is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Ballad of Cable Hogue for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 1 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (10,439)