A film buff's quest to view all the films on They Shoot Pictures, Don't They's 1,000 Greatest Films list (www.theyshootpictures.com/gf1000)
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The Ballad of Cable Hogue
Directed by: SAM PECKINPAH
1970, TSPDT Rank #978
This post contains content written for the Internet Film Club.
I feel this movie is a near masterpiece, and I think it deserves to be higher on the list. Sam Peckinpah himself felt that this was his best film, and I don't think he was that far off. It's pretty much the only good western-comedy I've ever seen: funny, moving, and sublime, featuring great cinematography and Jason Robards giving probably his best performance as Cable Hogue. Watching him act in this movie makes me wish I could see Noon Wine, a made for TV movie Peckinpah made starring Robards before his return to film with The Wild Bunch. Joshua, the reverend of 'the church of his own revelation' is hilarious, especially the scenes which show his brand of "consoling" women. The main plot device that should motivate the film is Hogue wanting to get revenge on his former partners, who left him to die without water in the desert. But what becomes the driving force of the film is the tender romance between Hogue and Hildy, the prostitute who becomes the love of his life. I think the people who call Sam a misogynist sadist or whatever should check out the way this relationship is portrayed in the film, because it pretty firmly disproves that theory. Anyway, I think this movie contains a great cast, incredible script, and paints Sam's definitive picture of the fading Old West.
I have been charting my progress on the 1,000 Greatest Films list from They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? for over ten years now. The quest continues! You can also check out my spinoff blog at https://cinema-cycles.tumblr.com/