Ride the High Country

1962

Western  

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Mariette Hartley as Elsa Knudsen
L.Q. Jones as Sylvus Hammond
Warren Oates as Henry Hammond
Edgar Buchanan as Judge Tolliver
720p 1080p
672.89 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 34 min
P/S 16 / 65
1.41 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 34 min
P/S 15 / 106

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

Exceptional Late Western.

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

A nostalgic reminder of the simple virtues and values of the more traditional Western heroes...

Made in 1962 MGM's RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY is not only one of the last of the great classic westerns but is significant in the respect that it was the one and only time that two of Hollywood's most iconic western stars Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea would appear together in the same film. Also, unlike McCrea it turned out to be Scott's final movie. McCrea, on the other hand, went on to appear in three or four more movies all of little account and finishing with a thing called "Mustang Country" in 1970. Both actors were very wealthy men by the time they started filming RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY in 1961 especially McCrea who by 1950 had become a multi-millionaire through shrewd investments and business interests. He would say of himself "I'm a businessman - acting in motion pictures is my hobby". He also laid claim to having the longest marriage in Hollywood. He was married to the actress Francis Dee for 57 years until his death in 1990.Also known as "Guns In The Afternoon" RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY is again significant for being the first movie that brought notice, from critics and public alike, on a young director called Sam Peckinpah. Produced by Richard E. Lions for Metro RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY was nicely written for the screen by N.B. Stone Jr. and stunningly photographed in Cinemascope and Metrocolor by the great Lucien Ballard. The story concerns two retired lawmen (Scott & McCrea) who take on the job of transporting gold from a mining camp to the bank in town some distance away but one of them isn't too keen on bringing it to the bank which causes great tension and enmity between them. Then at the mining camp, with the gold all packed and ready to go, trouble erupts when they save a young bride (the resistible Mariette Hartley) from her ne'er do well husband (James Drury) and take her with them. But with his four errant brothers the irate husband sets out after them to retrieve his wife by any and every means. The picture comes to an explosive finish when the two old timers reconcile with each other and take on the gang in a well staged traditional style shootout in which the brothers perish along with one of the protagonists. RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY has become something of a cult western and has awoken in a new generation an interest in past classics that starred either Scott or McCrea. Beautifully directed by Peckinpah it is regarded by many to be his finest western. With wonderful characterisations throughout the picture is notable for some outstanding portrayals from an excellent supporting cast particularly Edgar Buchanan as the perpetually hammered preacher, R.G. Armstrong (a perennial Peckinpah favourite) as the irascible father of the girl and Warren Oates in one of his early roles as the leering and creepy brother of the groom. And complimenting the proceedings is the engaging score by the little known composer George Bassman featuring a lingering and beguiling main theme that adds greatly to the lovely outdoor locations.With splendid performances, a creditable screenplay, excellent production values and a memorable score RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY remains an unforgettable classic western. And lest we forget it also bids a fond farewell to two of the screens mightiest western icons - Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea.Classic exchange from RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY: Towards the end and just before the final confrontation with the gang McCrea suggests to Scott "Let's meet them head on - just like always". To which Scott, with a wry smile, responds "My sentiments exactly".

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

An "A" Farewell for Two "B" Western Stars

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

Dignity and strength of character

Even for those who generally do not appreciate Westerns, 'Ride the High Country' is an absorbing and moving piece of entertainment... For Western buffs it is an item of study, with its accurate period detail and the vistas of the California Sierras, near Mammoth Lakes... The film firmly established Peckinpah as a director of unusual style, a man with the ability to create strange images, often ugly ones in beautiful settings, although his talent in staging scenes of violence is shockingly impressive...Peckinpah's mining community in this film is memorable for its spirited and dangerous atmosphere, with its one true gold mine being the whorehouse... The madam is a cheerful nightmare, and hidden in a corner is a drunken judge (Edgar Buchanan), with a bottle of whiskey, who comes alive only to remind us that people change... 'Ride the High Country' gets additional poignancy from its choice of stars... They made so many Westerns over the years, and they had long been personal friends? It was the happiest inspiration that got them together for this afterglow ride that resulted in two unforgettable performances? But one wonders exact1y how they savor the situation?that after so much riding, over so many years, it has taken a late, almost afterthought ride, to place them securely among Western immortals? It is, indeed, a happy finale to a pleasing career and a nostalgic reminder of the simple virtues and values of the more traditional Western heroes...Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott had come to specialize in many fine westerns, set an admirable style in quiet heroism, always courageous, ever dignified, never vulgar... They ride this time together, ruminating over times that used to be... Both are heroic figures, having been noted lawmen, and yet they are now reduced to taking whatever comes their way in order to live...One is a man of moral rectitude who believes in fulfilling his obligations, 'doing the job' just like in his old days as lawman... The other out to make one last haul in order to retire with a measure of comfort... But both are old-timers striving to make ends meet in a changing West where they no longer belong... They are clearly past it?McCrea goes into a washroom so that he will not be seen putting on spectacles in order to read a contract; Scott asks his captor to cut him loose for the night, offering only one reason: 'I don't sleep so good anymore.' Both sleep in long combs and pause on a tiring journey to bathe their aching feet in a cold stream... And in the end they defend the old values against the new with pride, dignity, never forgotten their skill with six-guns...'Ride the High Country' had a number of interesting sub-plots and characters and an earthy but tasteful approach to sex... Its strength, however, lay in the sincere and moving portrayals of its two major stars, and in the beauty and poignancy of its final scene...The basic theme of the movie is strong, moving and valid, but, above all, it is the elegiac feel that makes it such a memorable motion picture?the serious thoughts of two veterans about 'how it was.'These are men with tired feet, caught up in the turn of the times... They are still there in the afterglow period of Western history... It's a long way back now to 'High Noon,' and the sun of 'Red River,' 'Shane,' 'Johnny Guitar,' and 'The Searchers' has left the sky forever...

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