Watch The Hired Hand
- 1 hr 33 min
In the 1971 film, The Hired Hand, Peter Fonda stars as Harry, a cowboy who has been traveling with his friend Arch (Warren Oates) across the American West. After seven years of being away from home, Harry decides to return to his wife Hannah (Verna Bloom) and daughter in the hopes of reconciling with them and resuming a normal life. However, upon his return, he realizes that his wife has moved on and is now living with another man. With no place to go, Harry ends up staying with Hannah and her partner for a night. The next day, he decides to offer his services as a hired hand on a nearby farm, partly to earn some money and partly to keep himself busy. The farm is run by an elderly couple, and their daughter, played by the late Sharon Acker. They take Harry on as a farmhand, and he starts to settle into the rhythm of farm work. But as he spends more time on the farm, he begins to develop feelings for the daughter, which is complicated by the presence of her father, who doesn't approve of Harry. As he begins to fall in love with the daughter, Harry becomes torn between this newfound sense of belonging on the farm and his desire to reconcile with his wife and daughter. Eventually, he must choose between staying on the farm and continuing to pursue the daughter or returning to his wife and daughter in the hopes of reconciling with them and making a fresh start. The Hired Hand is a poignant and understated Western that explores themes of love, loss, and redemption. The film's direction is both sensitive and contemplative, with stunning cinematography that captures the beauty of the American West. Fonda, who also directed the film, delivers a strong performance as Harry, conveying the character's sense of pain and confusion with subtlety and nuance. Oates is equally impressive as Arch, Harry's loyal friend who provides much-needed support as Harry tries to find his place in the world. Bloom, who would later star in the iconic film Animal House, also shines as Hannah, Harry's estranged wife. Despite her limited screen time, she imbues the role with depth and complexity, making Hannah more than just a simple obstacle for Harry to overcome. The film's score, composed by Bruce Langhorne, is haunting and evocative, providing a fitting accompaniment to the film's meditative pace and lyrical dialogue. The Hired Hand is a film that rewards patience and reflection, and it is a must-see for fans of the Western genre or of Peter Fonda's work. Overall, The Hired Hand is a poignant and beautifully crafted film that explores the complex emotional terrain of love, longing, and hope. With strong performances from its cast and stunning visuals, it is a film that lingers in the memory long after the final credits roll.