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Author Topic: The Hired Hand (1971)  (Read 4445 times)
cigar joe
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« on: December 08, 2007, 04:45:31 PM »

Dir. Peter Fonda, cinematography Vilmos Zsigmond

With Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, Verna Bloom.

This film seemed a bit too overblown a tad too pretentious, definitely more of an "art" Western that seemed to be made post Leone in the US, I just couldn't get a hard core Western feel out of it though it had its moments but they were far & few between. Warren Oats is great in it as usual.

The story is about 3 drifters who are headed toward California who stumble into a small adobe town where one of them gets caught by the husband of a Mexican woman while he's with her. The husband claims he raped her and shoots him in the neck. Oats and Fonda exact a small revenge upon the husband and head toward out of town. Fonda decides to return to the wife & daughter he abandoned, Oats goes along for the ride.

When they reach the ranch they find out the wife has been sleeping with the hired help. Eventually Fonda straightens things out and Oats heads again towards California. Oats ends up getting captured by the Mexican woman's husband and Fonda must once again abandon his wife to try and help his friend.

Thats the story in a nut shell

There is one good shoot out but its long in comming. 

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« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2007, 04:48:49 PM »

Saw it in a theatre: boring like few.

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The Peacemaker
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2007, 08:14:54 PM »

This movie was incredibly boring. This is the ultimate cure for insomnia.


Like CJ said, it has a cool gunfight at the end. But it's short and can't save the rest of the film.

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Tuco the ugly
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2007, 09:11:07 PM »

Peter Fonda was (for me) always a synonym for boredom, although he isn't such a bad actor. He probably spent too much time with Dennis Hopper.

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The Firecracker
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2007, 05:48:46 PM »

Peter Fonda was (for me) always a synonym for boredom


Agreed. I do like Easy Rider though. A lot.

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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2007, 06:06:06 PM »

  I haven't seen Peter Fonda in many movies, Easy Rider is a great one, but I liked him in 3:10 to Yuma a lot.  Watching the movie, it took me a second to figure out who the actor was.  His turn as a former bounty hunter turned Wells Fargo gunman was good stuff.  He reminded me a lot of his Pops more in this role than any other one I've seen. Smiley

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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2007, 05:13:38 AM »

One thing I can say was that my assessment of Vilmos Zsigmond has gone down a notch. The dream like snow globe feel of the film "flashing" in McCabe & Mrs Miller was not in evidence in this film if it was used it had the effect of making it look overexposed in the opening sequence in the bright light and reflected sun on the river. I was hoping that his participation would have been a plus but not so, it just seemed pretentious whether this was the fault of Zsigmond or Fonda is the question.

« Last Edit: December 11, 2007, 05:15:02 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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mike siegel
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2007, 08:16:10 AM »

Superb film. Was bored when I saw it 20 years ago, now I love it. Some things take time.
Lyrical, authentic,  very very special.
Great DVD too.

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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2014, 11:55:58 AM »

I though it was an extraordinary movie. I understand why many won't like it, but it touched me like very few movies in recent times. The backstory with the sadistic guy and his gang is really there just to close the movie and before that a plot device to make Peter Fonda's character go back to his wife and child, otherwise it doesn't possess any enhancing quality. Very deep and thoughtful psychology that runs through the story gets anchored in excellent performances from all the cast. Fonda's mind's meandering's done very very carefully, to which Oates playing the true friend comes in crucial points, when needed most. Liked the flashbacks a great deal, and the (simple) soundtrack felt moving like few others.



7.5/10

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