The Ballad of Cable Hogue

Overview

After the intense bloodshed of The Wild Bunch 1969, this comic western fable took the opposite approach to director Sam Peckinpah's continuing examination of the end of the West. Left for dead by a couple of lizard-slaughtering desperados in the middle of the desert, prospector Cable Hogue Jason Robards is saved by his unexpected discovery of water "where there wasn't any." Hogue turns the water hole, felicitously located near a stagecoach route, into a thriving business, creating a rest stop for a never-ending ...
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Overview

After the intense bloodshed of The Wild Bunch 1969, this comic western fable took the opposite approach to director Sam Peckinpah's continuing examination of the end of the West. Left for dead by a couple of lizard-slaughtering desperados in the middle of the desert, prospector Cable Hogue Jason Robards is saved by his unexpected discovery of water "where there wasn't any." Hogue turns the water hole, felicitously located near a stagecoach route, into a thriving business, creating a rest stop for a never-ending series of parched travelers. On his occasional trips to the closest town, he meets chipper prostitute Hildy Stella Stevens, who joins him in his oasis, completing Hogue's little paradise. But even though Hogue may be able to succeed and avenge himself against his original attackers, there is one thing that he cannot stop: progress. Completed before The Wild Bunch was released, and replete with comical and even musical interludes, Peckinpah's gently picaresque telling of Hogue's rise and fall stands in distinct contrast to the visual violence of its predecessor. The underlying message about the cost of modernity, however, equals The Wild Bunch in seriousness. The callous randomness of Hogue's fate is as shocking as the Bunch's final blaze of glory; as in Robert Altman's McCabe and Mrs. Miller from the same period, a tool of "civilization" provokes a most uncivilized end for an Old West dreamer. Although the film was as light-hearted in approach as the 1969 smash hit revisionist western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Warner Bros. mishandled the release and it did barely any business; Peckinpah returned to his trademark gore in his next film, the controversial Straw Dogs 1971. Still, The Ballad of Cable Hogue is less an anomaly for a master of violence than an ironically charming chapter in Peckinpah's career-long elegy to the western.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by Peckinpah biographers/documentarians Nick Redman, Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle; New featurette The Ladiest Dam'd Lady: an afternoon with actress Stella Stevens; Vintage featurette Sam Peckinpah West: A Study of the Filmmaker; Sam Peckinpah trailer gallery
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The Ballad of Cable Hogue seems an uncharacteristic movie for Sam Peckinpah, one of the masters of screen violence. In fact, the timing of this likable fable is remarkable, sandwiched between Peckinpah's two most disturbing examinations of violent human frenzy, The Wild Bunch and Straw Dogs. Not that Cable Hogue is exactly a walk in the flower garden: it features back-stabbing, murder, prostitution, greed, and a crooked preacher. But, as with Junior Bonner two years later, there is no denying the warm-hearted nature of this outing. In fact, for someone who had supposedly buried the revisionist western the year before with The Wild Bunch, Peckinpah keeps things nice and light, even in the darkest moments. Visual jokes and even slapstick are not out of bounds here. A lot of credit for keeping the balance of this tone must go to Jason Robards as Cable, who always has a surly, jocular look on his face. David Warner, Peckinpah staple and one of the most underrated actors of the Seventies, is also superbly waggish as the devilish man of God, Joshua Sloane.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/10/2006
  • UPC: 085393372927
  • Original Release: 1970
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 2:01:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jason Robards Jr. Cable Hogue
Stella Stevens Hildy
David Warner Joshua
Strother Martin Bowen
Slim Pickens Ben
L.Q. Jones Taggart
Peter Whitney Cushing
R.G. Armstrong Quittner
Gene Evans Clete
William Mims Jensen
Kathleen Freeman Mrs. Jensen
Susan O'Connell Claudia
Vaughn Taylor Powell
Max Evans Webb
James Anderson Preacher
James Anderson Preacher
Felix Nelson William
Victor Izay Stage Office Clerk
Darwin Lamb The Stranger
Mary Munday Dot
Matthew Peckinpah Matthew
Technical Credits
Sam Peckinpah Director, Producer
Lucien Ballard Cinematographer
Leroy Coleman Art Director
John Crawford Screenwriter
William Faralla Producer
Phil Feldman Producer
Richard Gillis Score Composer, Songwriter
Jerry Goldsmith Score Composer, Songwriter
Lou Lombardo Editor
Jack Mills Set Decoration/Design
Edmund Penney Screenwriter
Robert Fletcher Costumes/Costume Designer
Frank Santillo Editor
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Ballad of Cable Hogue
1. Left Behind [4:38]
2. Credits [4:02]
3. Water [3:28]
4. The Stagecoach [3:29]
5. First Customer [2:30]
6. The Preacher [5:38]
7. Deaddog Damsel [2:25]
8. Filing His Claim [6:03]
9. Bank Loan [3:31]
10. Hildy [3:59]
11. Preoccupied with Business [6:34]
12. Making Up with Hildy [5:20]
13. Solace Services [6:35]
14. Handling Passoions and Snakes [4:51]
15. In Business [2:44]
16. Desert Cuisine [2:18]
17. Welcome Visitor [4:50]
18. Butterfly Morning [5:12]
19. Wanted Man [3:01]
20. Unwanted Man [5:53]
21. Old Friends [:14]
22. The Searchers [4:18]
23. Down a Hole [3:58]
24. The Guts [3:46]
25. Horseless Carriage [2:27]
26. The Ladiest Damn Lady [2:41]
27. Cable's Accident [4:02]
28. Funeral Sermon [4:26]
30. Wait for Me, Sunrise [3:03]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Ballad of Cable Hogue
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Commentary by Nick Redman, Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle
      The Ladiest Damn'd Lady
      Sam Peckinpah Trailer Gallery
         Play All
         Ride the High Country
         The Wild Bunch
         The Ballad of Cable Hogue
         The Getaway
         Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
      James Dean Trailer
   Languages
      Spoken Languages
         English
         Français
      Subtitles
         English
         Français
         Español
         Off
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