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Author Topic: The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970)  (Read 10584 times)
The Peacemaker
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« on: October 14, 2006, 02:13:36 PM »

Just saw this last night and I loved this film.

If the credits hadn't said " directed by Sam Peckinpah, " most people wouldn't even think this is a Peckinpah film. There's barely any violence, but the sentimentality of the movie made it very enjoyable and is quite refreshing after Sam's other blood-bath work. Jason Robards did a fantastic job as Cable Hogue, a truly lovable character. The theme song " Tomorrow is the Song I Sing " is really catchy too.

There are a few negatives too. I didn't like the " Butterfly Mornings " song which was way too corny. I also didn't like the way the Reverand character constantly changes. First he's a very nice guy, then he's a player ( why did those women let him grab them like that?  Roll Eyes ), then he's a nice guy again.

But overall, the film is great. I'm actually considering to make this my favorite Peckinpah film.

« Last Edit: October 14, 2006, 02:20:25 PM by The Peacemaker » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2006, 02:31:31 PM »

I concur...Jason Robards is simply a wonder in this........ Sam Peckinpah's most playful Western...but no less profound in its depiction of its themes than his more 'serious' films...........a member of my "Ohhhh...so good" category.

Yeah..."Butterfly Mornings...and wildflower afternoons" is a bit much. 

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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2006, 07:42:50 PM »

I agree its a nice little tragic Wild West, love story, of the fling between a determined man building a dream in the desert and a hooker going off to San Francisco follow her dream, nice poetic touches a great cast of character actors well used, beautiful desert sequences gorgeous cinematogaphy, excellent film.

The score for a sung title song is good, and though it has a duet by Stella and Jason "Butterfly Mornings", it sort of half assed works not taking you out of the picture too badly, another example of a trend in the seventies.  "Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid" had the same type insert and so did "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean"  Huh

Both Stella Stevens and Jason Robards shine.

Sam Peckinpah Lite!

I can see why Sam had an unhappy career, this film should have made money it was embracing the American Dream, wasn't very bloody, had a love interest story that actually appeals to men. And it was a quasi-comedy, not slapstick but more situational comedy. WTF with the general public at the time? Was it not promoted correctly?

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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2006, 08:06:12 PM »

I agree its a nice little tragic Wild West, love story, of the fling between a determined man building a dream in the desert and a hooker going off to San Francisco follow her dream, nice poetic touches a great cast of character actors well used, beautiful desert sequences gorgeous cinematogaphy, excellent film.

The score for a sung title song is good, and though it has a duet by Stella and Jason "Butterfly Mornings", it sort of half assed works not taking you out of the picture too badly, another example of a trend in the seventies.  "Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid" had the same type insert and so did "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean"  Huh

Both Stella Stevens and Jason Robards shine.

Sam Peckinpah Lite!

I can see why Sam had an unhappy career, this film should have made money it was embracing the American Dream, wasn't very bloody, had a love interest story that actually appeals to men. And it was a quasi-comedy, not slapstick but more situational comedy. WTF with the general public at the time? Was it not promoted correctly?


Well the trailer made it look like a silly comedy, when underneath the comedy it's quite a serious film.

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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2006, 10:02:38 PM »

WTF with the general public at the time? Was it not promoted correctly?

I think that after the success of "The Wild Bunch"...audiences...as well as critics, expecting another "Bloody Sam" movie were caught off guard.
In fact.."Cable Hogue" explores one of Peckinpah's favorite recurring themes, that of the end of the Old West..& the advancing "modern" era...just as deeply & thoughtfully..just differently.
It's said to have been his personal favorite of all his films.



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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2006, 06:27:29 AM »

I found a somewhat explanation;

From "Peckinpah, The Western Films" by Paul Seydor.


For the demise of "The Ballad of Cable Hogue" lay the blame squarely on Warner Brothers. They were batteling with Peckinpah over the cuts in "The Wild Bunch", first they withdrew all support for TWB in December for the Academy Awards screenings. Next the studios showed an unfinnished cut of TBoCH to the first round of reviewers without mentioning the version shown was not complete. After the finnish of the release print the studio did almost nothing to promote it. Within a month of its release it was difficult to remember wether there ahd ever been such a film.

footnote:

'
"The picture called for theaters near colleges" Peckinpah friend Max Evans wrote, "where it would open slowly and then let the inevitable word of mouth build it. (Sam Pekinpah The Master of Violence) What happend was this, to take just one region of the country as an example. In central Pennsylvania is a town called State College, the main campus of the  Pennsylvania State University where approximately 25,000 students are enrolled each year, the film never played in State College. It played, rather, in a small town about an hour away called Hollidaysburg, with no publicity and consequently little attendance. Imagine this situation replicated around the country." 
 

 




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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2006, 06:28:58 AM »

Wow, Cigar Joe, you beat me to it.  The studio did virtually nothing to promote the film, which is why it flopped.  As Stella Stevens said, "They didn't promote it - they flushed it."

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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2006, 06:53:08 AM »

Well the trailer made it look like a silly comedy, when underneath the comedy it's quite a serious film.
Yeah i saw a Peckinpah documentary very recently and with much of the footage seemingly preoccupied with the alluring Stella Stevens character-no complaints there but hopefully there's a decent western buried in there somewhere. Roll Eyes
I don't like everything Peckinpah did but the documentary showed him to be in a no win situation,and i have altered my opinion of him somewhat.People either complained about the overly graphic violence but there were protests when Peckinpah left this  stuff out of his films.
Anyway,(from what i've seen)I  still think Ride The High Country is his best western.

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« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2006, 04:57:22 AM »

There are many reasons for me why Peckinpah is my #1 film maker, a strong one is the fact that he made 5 masterpieces in less than 5 years! Nobody can top that.
(BUNCH, CABLE, STRAW DOGS, BONNER & GETAWAY - between 1968 & 1972).

I just found an (unofficial) trailer for my own film, funny:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdNJUD3ucPw



[/img]



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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2006, 05:05:44 AM »

I want, I want !  Grin

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« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2007, 11:20:06 AM »

With some editing, Peace's words could be mine:
Just saw this last night and I loved this film.

If the credits hadn't said " directed by Sam Peckinpah, " most people wouldn't even think this is a Peckinpah film. There's barely any violence, but the sentimentality of the movie made it very enjoyable and is quite refreshing after Sam's other blood-bath work. Jason Robards did a fantastic job as Cable Hogue, a truly lovable character. The theme song " Tomorrow is the Song I Sing " is really catchy too.

Overall, the film is great. I'm actually considering to make this my favorite Peckinpah film.

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« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2007, 12:11:02 PM »

I loved this movie. It shows Sam's lyrical side. Of course, there are some lyric scenes even in Wild Bunch, but the most watchers didn't recognize them...

Jason Robards is half-god.  Afro

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« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2007, 12:22:47 PM »

I loved this movie. It shows Sam's lyrical side. Of course, there are some lyric scenes even in Wild Bunch, but the most watchers didn't recognize them...

Jason Robards is half-god.  Afro
...and Sam Peckinpah is a god. (Sergio Leone is the God)

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« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2007, 06:36:47 PM »

Actually Sam was a poet. He started out reading and reciting poetry, he then studied drama and became a stage director. Tennessee Williams was his favorite. With THE WILD BUNCH he created a monster, in the way, that it over-shawowed his earlier poetry. He tought he could 'get out'. During CABLE he eidted BUNCH and they had a screening of an early 4-hour version (movie-heaven). Sam said to David Warner 'that's it, I made my statement on violence. He wanted to go on with other themes. CAST AWAY, CATCHER IN THE RYE, Max Evans' books... But after the studio sacrificed CABLE he (in a way) had to make STRAW DOGS. Another masterpiece but he was branded for good... And even now, in  times when research on film history is as easy as it never was in 100 years, people seldom realize what he really stood for.

CABLE may now seem unusual in terms of 'Peckinpah-Country', but in 1969 is was a different game: before BUNCH he had made NOON WINE and THE LADY IS MY WIFE. The one is pure drama, the other has no violence at all...
DUNDEE was not about violence, but about a man, RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY is a reflection of his parental background and pure poetry, THE WESTERNER may be the best TV-Westerns ever made - again drama. Content & acting superb, style already there. Violence too, but never overshadowing. After STRAW DOGS he was busted.
One of the best films of the 70's is JUNIOR BONNER. By then it was too late for him - people expected action from those cats, THE GETAWAY they really wanted from Sam/Steve...

But JUNIOR BONNER is a masterpiece. That sad but never sentimental weekend of a family drifting apart, America selling out to money and greed, the loss of the old values for good and two men who try to be themselves in those changing times. It was McQueen's favorite performance. But in public he rarely mentioned it - actors always dread flops.
Ida & Preston are world class. A great rich ripe work of an actors-director who was also one of the best dramatic storytellers and also visually among the Top-ten. His narrative, his editing style, his themes, ambition, timing, action & his taste is hard to top. 

CABLE HOGUE was his hommage to his grandfather, Denver Church. A true American pioneer of the west who was very much involved bringing in water to California (he found water where it wasn't).
I love the film, it is so rich. his scenes are just better than those of 97% of the other film makers. The song may be a bit corny ( i like it, because I do like the tenderness between those two outcasts). Peckinpah loved Richard Gillis and he loved that song. A little know fact is that Gillis wrote the end title song for CONVOY (a film that was heavily altered be the producers). The producers kicked it out and I have video footage of Sam at home singing that song (loudly) to a TV-crew. Impeccable.

CABLE had incredible problems: it rained for weeks! In the desert. A story about a man who is dying of thirst. So the 'little' film went over-budget.  People got very sick, Pickens & Ballard lost parts of their lungs (fever)...
And still they kick Sam's babies - the DVD is bad. Bad quality. But it doesn't matter because

TOMORROW IS THE SONG I SING.....


Sam on the set:

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« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2007, 04:20:14 PM »

I saw again this movie some months ago and found it exactly as the first time: boring. That's why it wasn't a hit at the time or later. It could have been better but I think it drags too much too often.

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